The Law Decree n. 18 of 17 March 2020 (the so-called "Cura Italia" Decree, the "Decree"), providing "Measures to strengthen the national healthcare system and to economically support households, workers and enterprises in the context of the COVID-19 epidemiological emergency" has been published on the Official Gazette of the Republic of Italy no. 701 of 17 March 2020. The Decree covers mainly the following four areas of intervention:
a. financing measures and other tools to strengthen the National Healthcare System, the Civil Protection and other public agencies involved in facing the emergency;
b. supporting measures to the labour sector, in order to protect employment and in-work income;
c. credit support for households and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) through the banking system and the use of the Central SME guarantee fund (the “SME Fund”); and
d. deferral of payment of taxes, contributions and other fiscal obligations; tax incentives for the sanitisation of workplaces and bonuses for employees that remain in service, together with further measures relating to specific sectors.
A summary of the main economic and financial measures introduced under letter c) (included in Title III (Measures to support liquidity through the banking system) of the Decree) is provided herebelow. The measures implemented by the Italian Legislator include, in particular, a moratorium in relation to loans granted to SMEs (applicable, upon request, on mortgages, leasing agreements, overdraft facilities and short-term loans), as well as the establishment of a special section of the SME Fund to support the financial institutions affected by such moratorium2. Further measures in support of the banking system and enterprises have also been adopted and implemented in the Decree and are briefly summarized below in the following pages.
Please click on link to read all details regarding all the financial support measures offered by the Italian Government to the SMEs affected by COVID-19 epidemic.