Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure IT-2020-12/2706 – measures in Italy
|Country||Italy , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 17 March 2020|
|Context||COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
|Author||Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 07 November 2022)|
Decree law no. 18 of 17 March 2020 enhances the role of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises (Fondo di garanzia per le piccole e medie imprese) in supporting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (art. 49). The eligible companies are the ones classified as small and medium enterprises according to EU legislation, provided that they do not have, at the date of publication of the decree law, non-performing exposures. The same decree law (art. 56) foresees the possibility for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that have debt exposures vis-à-vis banks and financial intermediaries to suspend loan instalments until 30 September 2020.
Decree law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 (the so called Relaunch Decree) allocated further €55 billion to support businesses, artisans, traders, professionals, workers and families. The main measures are: grants to companies and sole proprietorships with revenues of up to €5 million; the cancellation of the Irap tax (regional production tax) for June and July for all companies with annual sales of up to €250 million; the strengthening of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises; and financial incentives to favour the strengthening of the financial assets of companies with revenues between €5 and €50 million.
Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises (Fondo di Garanzia per le piccole e medie imprese): several decree laws aimed to strengthen the intervention capacity of the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises by introducing temporary exceptions from its current operating rules. In particular, article 49 of the Decree Law 18/2020 of 17 March 2020 provides that for a period of 9 months from its entry into force:
Article 56 of decree law No. 18/2020 of 17 March 2020 foresees the possibility for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that have debt exposures vis-à-vis banks and financial intermediaries to suspend loan instalments until 30 September 2020. Furthermore, all subsidised loans can be suspended.
Decree law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 (the so called Relaunch Decree) introduced a non-refundable contribution to companies with revenues not exceeding €5 million. These companies can access the contribution, provided that the turnover for April 2020 is less than 2/3 of the turnover for April 2019.
Capital strengthening of medium-sized enterprises (Rafforzamento patrimoniale delle imprese di medie dimensioni): article 26 of Decree law no. 34 of 19 May 2020 introduced a tax incentive to encourage the strenthening of the financial assets of medium-sized companies. The tax incentive corresponds to 20% of investment up a maximum investment of €2 million. Eligible are the companies which:
The Ministry of Economic Development reports that between 17 March 2020 and 14 June 2020, 618,772 requests were presented to the Guarantee Fund for small and medium enterprises, for a total of requested financing amounting to more than €31 billion.
|Does not apply to workers||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The social partners assessed the measures introduced by the government very differently. The employer association Confindustria pointed at the excessive fragmentation of the measure and the fact that it is too focused on social assistance rather than productive investments. On the contrary, trade unions were skeptical of non-selective and unconditional measures for companies, which do not foresee a direction on the type of investments and their effects on workers.
Eurofound (2022), Financial support measures for businesses related to the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency, measure IT-2020-12/2706 (measures in Italy), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/IT-2020-12_2706.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.