Switzerland launches Covid-19 liquidity fund for start-ups 

Just as it did for SMEs, Switzerland is providing startup companies with liquidity relief. Keystone

The Swiss government is launching a fund to help start-ups facing cashflow problems as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs announced on Monday that it will accept application for government-guaranteed bank loans between May 7 and August 31. 

This content was published on May 4, 2020 - 16:02

Swiss start-up companies are eligible to receive a maximum of CHF1 million ($1.03 million) but the total amount must not exceed a third of the start-up’s 2019 running costs. The bulk of the loan guarantee (65%) is provided by the government. The remainder is provided by the cantons or third parties appointed by the cantons.  

Start-ups can submit a loan guarantee applicationExternal link online and will be assessed on their eligibility. Cantonal agencies can consult an expert group which is coordinated by Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency – during the evaluation period if needed. This group submits an assessment of whether the companies applying meet the requirement as science- or technology-based start-ups. 


Which companies are eligible? 
• Start-ups based in a participating canton and founded after January 1, 2010 but before  March 1, 2020 
• Companies limited by shares and companies with limited liability based in Switzerland. 
• Start-ups that are not part of the agricultural sector. 
• The start-up is not in bankruptcy or composition proceedings or in liquidation 
• Start-ups that are suffering significant financial and liquidity problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additional requirements listed hereExternal link.  

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Last month, the Swiss government decided to extend the existing bailout system for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to start-ups. 

The coronavirus pandemic has left start-ups around the world strapped up for cash – with many having less than three to six months of cash in hand. 

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