Today, the Federal Cabinet adopted the draft Act Stipulating the Funding of the ERP Special Fund for 2021. On this basis, small and medium-sized companies will be able to obtain low-interest financing and equity capital totalling around €7.9 billion in 2021.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “The financial assistance from the ERP Special Fund for 2021 can give vigorous support to German SMEs in their efforts to overcome the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. After all, a viable supply of low-interest loans and equity capital is crucial if we are to harness the potential for growth that is offered by our SMEs. The ERP Special Fund makes an important contribution to this goal.”

Funding priorities include venture and equity capital financing, the establishment and modernisation of companies in structurally weak regions, and the promotion of innovation and digitalisation. In 2021, the ERP Digitisation and Innovation Loan will provide SMEs with a total loan volume of €2 billion, allowing them to make progress on digitalisation and innovation projects.

The ERP Special Fund has been supporting economic development in Germany for more than 70 years. It is financed by funds from the Marshall Plan and managed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Special emphasis is placed on supporting small and medium-sized companies, which tend to be structurally disadvantaged compared with large enterprises in terms of their financial situation. ERP funding plays a key role in strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs and freelancers and helps to create new jobs.