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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-2020-21/1001 Updated – measures in Italy

Direct subsidy to companies

Contributo a fondo perduto per le imprese

Country Italy , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 19 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Lisa Dorigatti (University of Milan) and Eurofound
Measure added 15 July 2020 (updated 03 November 2020)

Background information

Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020 (art. 25) introduced a direct subsidy to those business activities which have experienced a reduction in revenues of at least two thirds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the subsidy depends on the total revenues of the business in 2019, and ranges between 10% and 20%.

Content of measure

A direct subsidy for businesses experiencing a reduction in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced by Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020. The subsidy is due provided that revenues in April 2020 are less than two thirds of the amount of revenues in April 2019 or to those businesses which have started their activities after 31 December 2018.

Eligible are individuals carrying out business and self-employment activities, holders of VAT number, including companies carrying out agricultural or commercial activities, even if carried out in the form of a cooperative enterprise, with turnover in the last tax period of less than €5 million.

The amount of the subsidy is determined as a percentage of the difference in revenues for April 2020 compared to April 2019 as follows:

  • 20% of the difference for subjects with revenues not exceeding €400,000 in the last tax period;
  • 15% per cent for individuals with revenues of over €400,000 and up to €1 million in the last tax period;
  • 10% for subjects with revenues or fees of over €1 million and up to €5 million in the last tax period.

The amount of the subsidy is recognized, however, for an amount of not less than €1,000 for natural persons and €2,000 for subjects other than natural.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

28 October 2020

In order to support the operators of the economic sectors affected by the restrictive measures introduced with the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 24 October 2020 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Law Decree No. 137 of 28 October 2020 devised new non-repayable contributions. The contribution is available to companies in different sectors, listed in an attachment to the Law Decree, among which taxis, hotels, restaurants, bars. The contribution amounts to between 100% and 200% that set by Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020. The contribution is available provided that the amount of the turnover and the payments of the month of April 2020 is less than two thirds of the amount of the turnover and the fees for the month of April 2019.

Use of measure

During a hearing in the Finance Committee at the Chamber of Deputies on 24 June 2020, the director of the tax administration agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) reported that over 915,000 applications for the subsidy were already presented. Payments of the first 203,000 requests, for a total amount of €730 million have already started.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Social partners were not involved in designing, implementing and monitoring the measure

Views and reactions

Employer associations, and in particular Confindustria, are criticising the Government for its intervention in support of businesses, considered too slow and fragmented.



Eurofound (2020), Direct subsidy to companies, measure IT-2020-21/1001 (measures in Italy), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.