The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty State aid rules two schemes aimed at helping companies to deal with the current economic crisis. The measures allow national, regional and local authorities to grant aid in 2009 and 2010 to businesses facing funding problems because of the current credit squeeze. The first scheme enables grants of up to €500 000 per company, while the second one provides for aid in the form of guarantees. Both schemes meet the conditions of the Commission’s new Temporary Framework for State aid measures, as outlined above, which gives Member States additional scope to facilitate access to financing in the present economic and financial crisis. In particular, they are limited in time and only apply to companies that were not in difficulties on 1 July 2008. They are therefore compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty, which permits aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.
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