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Cantons in the Basel Area agree aid measures

25.03.2020

Basel/Liestal/Delémont – Because of the coronavirus crisis.the three sponsor cantons of BaselArea.swiss have adopted emergency aid measures in addition to those agreed by the Swiss government at national level. The cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura will be supporting companies and other individuals affected to a substantial extent. The aim here is to mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic within the economic region of Basel Area.

The cantons that make up the Basel Area have agreed comprehensive packages of emergency measures in response to the coronavirus crisis. This aims to supplement the measures adopted by the Swiss government and soften the blows arising from emergency situations. On March 11, the canton of Basel-Stadt agreed an increase in crisis funding, longer payment terms for state services and the provision of guarantees for bridging loans. According to a press release issued on March 24, the cantonal government has now specified its cantonal aid measures.

For example, tenants of shops in properties owned by the canton will not pay rent for an initial period of five weeks. Kindergartens will be reimbursed fees that would ordinarily be paid by parents. Payments to the recipients of state contributions will continue to be made even in the event that they are unable to fulfil their services in full. Parking charges are to be cut or removed totally in order to allow healthcare workers to commute using their own cars. Public-land charges for street-side restaurants, billboards and other physical advertising media, merchandise displays and market stalls will temporarily be cancelled. A recess period for cantonal administrative procedures as well as initiative and referendum requests has been agreed. Agencies whose services can only be performed in person will remain open.

Again on March 24, the government of the canton of Basel-Landschaft set in stone its plans for a package of measures totaling 100 million Swiss francs. According to a press release, companies operating shorter hours and self-employed people will receive emergency aid for ongoing expenses of up to 7,500 Swiss francs. This grant will not need to be repaid. In addition, a total of 250 Swiss francs will be paid per employee. A maximum of 10,000 Swiss francs will be paid to any one company. In addition, the canton is ready to secure bridging loans from banks to companies in Basel-Landschaft. The loans of up to 50,000 Swiss francs to be guaranteed will be secured for a maximum term of two years at 0 percent interest. Moreover, educational institutes operating reduced hours will receive support to the tune of 450 Swiss francs per students, while the canton is also waiving all interest on late tax payments.

The canton of Jura has, according to a press release, agreed cantonal measures in the amount of 9 million Swiss francs. Tax pre-payments for 2020 can now be adjusted. Interest on late tax payments has been cancelled until the end of August. Companies that hire apprentices in the fall despite the challenging market environment will receive a one-off grant. Social welfare recipients will receive a lump sum for their outgoings over a period of three months. The cantonal employment scheme for the unemployed is to be maintained. Moreover, the canton will support startups both financially and in regard to federal aid applications.

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