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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case PT-2021-3/1732 Updated – measures in Portugal

Financial support line for micro and small tourist companies

Linha de apoio financeiro às micro e pequenas empresas turísticas

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 12 January 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Case created 19 January 2021 (updated 28 July 2021)

Background information

The containment measures that were implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also aim to pave the way to a gradual return to economic activity. Although, these same measures had an unprecedented impact on the entirety of the tourism sector.

With a view to the immediate introduction of specific public support mechanisms for the tourism sector in order to safeguard the full activity of companies and their human capital, Normative Order 4/2020, of 20 March, created the Support Line for Tourism Microenterprises. The performance of that Line was reinforced through Normative Order 10/2020, of 11 August.

The current epidemiological situation, as well as the measures recently adopted for prevention, containment and mitigation of infection, justify a new update of the support line for micro tourist companies, through the introduction of a set of changes that, in the current context, ensure continuity of access to liquidity by economic agents, thus minimizing the significant disruptions in its activity resulting from public health and safety imperatives.

Content of measure

Normative Dispatch 1/2021, of 11 January, creates a financial support line for micro and small tourist companies aimed at meeting the cash flow needs of micro and small tourist companies whose activity is strongly affected by the economic effects resulting from the outbreak of the disease COVID-19.

The maximum budget available is €100 million, broken down as follows: micro-enterprises: €90,000,000; and small businesses: €10,000,000.

The financial support to be granted under this line is in the nature of repayable support, without any associated remuneration interest. This support corresponds to the value of €750 per month for each existing job in the company on 29 February 2020, in the case of micro-enterprises, or on 30 November 2020, in the case of small companies, multiplied by a period of three months, up to a maximum amount of €20,000 or €30,000, depending on whether they are micro or small companies, respectively.

The financial support is reimbursed within three years, counting from the date of conclusion of the respective contract, including a grace period corresponding to 12 months.

The amount corresponding to 20% of the total amount of support can be converted into non-refundable, provided that, on the date of 30 September 2021, and by comparison with 29 February 2020, in the case of micro-companies, or with 30 November 2020, in the case of small companies, the company has not terminated employment contracts under the terms of collective dismissal, dismissal due to extinction of the job or dismissal due to unsuitability, nor has it started the respective procedures.

Financial support is granted under the de minimis aid scheme.

Eligibility criteria:

  1. Demonstrate a regularised situation before the tax administration, social security and Tourism of Portugal, I. P.;
  2. They are duly licensed for the exercise of the respective activity and duly registered in the National Tourism Register, when legally required;
  3. Demonstrate that the activity developed was negatively affected by the outbreak of the disease COVID-19;
  4. Not be in a difficult business situation;
  5. In the two years preceding the date of application, an administrative or judicial sanction for the use of labour that is legally subject to the payment of taxes and social security contributions, has not been applied;
  6. Not having been convicted in the two years preceding the date of the application, for a final and unappealable sentence, for illegal dismissal of pregnant women, puerperal women or lactating mothers;
  7. They are in effective activity, unless they are unable to exercise it by express determination of the competent public authorities in the context of measures to combat the spread of the disease COVID-19.


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

27 April 2021

Normative Order 12/2021, of 27 April, amends Normative Order 4/2020, of 25 March, which created the Treasury Support Line for Micro-enterprises in Tourism - COVID-19.

It further increases the line's allocation by €20 million. The fact that the present reinforcement falls within a context of reopening of economic activity means that the performance bonus foreseen for projects submitted and approved under previous reinforcements will not apply.

At the same time, the activity sectors covered are extended to include land transport activities that prove to be mainly intended for tourism.

23 April 2021

Normative Order 11/2021, of 23 April, amends and republishes Normative Order 4/2020, of 25 March.

It proceeds to adjust the regulatory discipline of the Treasury Support Line for Micro and Small Tourism Businesses, ensuring the budgetary framework of the performance bonus underlying the conversion of funding into non-refundable support, through recourse to the management balance of Turismo de Portugal in the component of reimbursements from beneficiaries of European Structural Funds.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds

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 Social Concertation.

Views and reactions


Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 11 January 2021: Despacho Normativo n.º 1/2021 (
  • 23 April 2021: Despacho Normativo n.º 11/2021 (
  • 27 April 2021: Despacho Normativo n.º 12/2021 (


Eurofound (2021), Financial support line for micro and small tourist companies, case PT-2021-3/1732 (measures in Portugal), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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