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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 PT-2021-13/1878 – measures in Portugal

Support measures within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic

Medidas de apoio no âmbito da pandemia COVID-19

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 25 March 2021
Context COVID-19, European Semester
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Heloísa Perista, Maria da Paz Campos Lima, Ana Brázia (CESIS) and Eurofound
Measure added 19 April 2021 (updated 27 February 2023)

Background information

The Resolution of the Council of Ministers n.º 33-A/2021, of 24 March 2021, establishes support measures within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This legal diploma expands the measures initially defined by the Liquidity Incentives System was created, called APOIAR Programme, created by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 101/2020, of 20 November, whose regulations were approved by Ministerial Order no. 271-A/2020, of 24 November.

Several other legal diplomas followed extending the APOIAR Programme, reinforcing the conditions of liquidity support to companies, and launching new direct support in the form of subsidies, in view of the new restrictions motivated by the worsening of the epidemiological situation, which determined the suspension or closure of certain types of activities, facilities and establishments, under the state of emergency.

Given the current scenario and what is foreseen for the near future, namely regarding progressive deconfinement, the Government decided to reassess the concrete needs of the sectors and adjust responses to ensure that the measures in force are the most appropriate and proportional to the respective resolution.

Content of measure

  1. Determine, regarding the cash assistance in the form of non-refundable subsidy approved by APOIAR Programme:

  2. the extension to economic activities directly affected by the suspension and closure of facilities and establishments determined by the decree regulating the state of emergency, namely bakery, pastry and pyrotechnic articles manufacturing; and

  3. the increase of the support ceilings in the case of companies with turnover drops higher than 50%, with retroactive effect.

  4. Determine the extension of the treasury support in the form of non-refundable subsidies approved by Apoiar Rendas and Apoiar + Simples, to sole proprietors without organised accounting, even if they have no employees.

  5. Determine the extension of the Support Rents to other contractual forms that have the use of real estate as an objective.
  6. Approve the launch of a credit line aimed at medium and large companies in the tourism sector, in the global amount of €300 million, with the possibility of 20% of the granted credit being converted into non-refundable credit.
  7. Create the "Sustainable Employment Commitment" measure, within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, with the purpose of promoting the creation of permanent jobs and to encourage, in particular, the hiring of unemployed young people and disabled people, granting support to the permanent hiring of those workers.
  8. Strengthen the support to the social sector.
  9. Approve the launching of the Support Fund for the Recovery of Physical and Sportive Activity, aimed at sports clubs constituted as non-profit associations, with a total sum of €35 million.
  10. Approve the "Sports + Federations Programme", through the support given to sports federations holding the statute of sports public utility, through the launch of a credit line in the global amount of €30 million.
  11. Determine the extension, from one to three months, of the extraordinary support to artists, authors, technicians and other cultural professionals, provided for in articles 5 to 7 of Ministerial Order no. 37-A/2021, of 15 February, in the monthly amount of one times the social support index, through a request to be submitted in March, April and May 2021.

Use of measure

The implementation report of the Compete Programme 2021, published in 2022, displays the results achieved under the APOIAR Programme. Namely:

  • More than 50,000 SMEs supported through non-reimbursable funding (grants) for working capital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the APOIAR Programme, with a total support exceeding €893 million.
  • 98% of the SMEs supported maintained their activity at the end of 2021.
  • The number of jobs in companies supported through the APOIAR Programme was 196,262.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
Sector specific set of companies
Companies providing essential services
Larger corporations
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public support service providers
European Funds
National funds
National Recovery and Resilience Facility

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The social partners were informed at the Standing Committee for for Social Concertation.

Views and reactions

The social partners views are not known.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C10 Manufacture of food products
      C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
      R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2021), Support measures within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, measure PT-2021-13/1878 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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