Providing businesses a bridge over this period of uncertainty

The Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, at the government press conference …

The Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, at the government press conference yesterday. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Prime Minister of Iceland, Bjarni Benediktsson, said that there have been many meetings with the Grindavík companies involved in the preparation of the state support measures that were announced yesterday.

The measures include loans to support the economy through government guarantees, resistance grants to get past the current difficulties, continued wage support, and support for raw materials and product insurance.

“It has to be said that many of them [the companies] are in a very tight and difficult situation. We are trying to act fairly and realistically, we must also admit that we cannot fulfill every wish,” Benediktsson told mbl.is after the press conference.

The state doesn't buy up the buildings

Many companies in Grindavík had requested that the state buy up commercial buildings, as it did with residential buildings, but Benediktsson says that the state cannot do this.

“With the loans, we are trying to accommodate all companies, regardless of whether they own real estate or not, and we are now providing a bridge over this period of uncertainty. Of course, with the operational subsidies we now call ‘resilience grants’.”

Up to ISK 6 million per month

Businesses will be able to borrow money from state-guaranteed credit institutions if they meet certain conditions. The aim is to start lending this autumn.

“We hope that measures calling for changes in the law will be ready for parliamentary discussions as early as June. We are still looking at the possibility that the loan support bill could take longer and be published in the autumn when the wage support bill has passed,” Benediktsson says.

The resistance grants period has been extended

The Government's Resistance Grant will be extended to the end of the year. Resistance grants include temporary operational support and the support is intended to enable companies to adapt their operations to changed circumstances. In addition, companies can resume operations in Grindavík when circumstances allow.

The grant includes measures such as a maximum of ISK 600,000 per month for up to 10 positions. This amounts to a maximum of ISK six million per month. This grant will be granted from July to December.

The income-fall limit will be 20%, previously 40%, but full grants are granted if income-fall is above 50%.

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