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Updated December 16 2020


As is the case across the globe, life in Germany has been heavily impacted by the Corona virus known as SARS-CoV-2 or Covid19. While society is going through many stages of the pandemic, the Office of Economic Development is informing the business community and beyond.

Several phone numbers are available for enquiries:

  • Immediate assistance for companies +49 208 300 0439
  • CoronaCare shopping support for elderly and impaired +49 2131 909 050
  • City closures, times of opening and appointments +49 2131 909 090
  • Concerning full or part time schools and kindergardens +49 2131 909 080
  • For all medical concerns +49 2181 601 7777

Latest information relevant to Neuss will be published here as it becomes available from the Office of Economic Development or the Press Office. Validity of links and content lie within their area of responsibility.

December 16

During the conference of the Federal Chancellor and the Minister Presidents last Sunday, the nationwide lockdown from 16 December was already decided. Now, the regulations for the state of NRW are anchored in the new Corona Protection Ordinance. This will initially apply until January 10 2021. Among other things, retailers will also have to close as of today. There are exceptions for shops with goods for daily use. Also, body-related services, with the exception of medical necessity, are prohibited as of today.

Further information on the closures as well as the regulations in the areas of gastronomy, trade, crafts and services can be found on the homepage.

For businesses affected by the closures since 02.11.2020 such as restaurants, bars, caterers, etc, the November assistance grants a non-repayable subsidy amounting to 75% of the turnover of the comparative month from 2019. This support will be continued as December assistance and thus also supports businesses affected by the current closures since 16.12.2020, for instance retail, hairdressers, etc. In addition, Bridging Assistance II for the funding period September to December 2020 can be applied for until 31.01.2020, which takes effect in the event of a drop in turnover of at least 50% in two consecutive months or at least 30% on average in the months compared to the same period of the previous year. The subsidy reimburses a share of the fixed operating costs and is applied for online via a tax advisor. This assistance will also be extended in 2021. Bridging assistance III covers the months of January to June 2021 and has been expanded with regard to eligible costs so that, for example, conversion work to implement hygiene concepts is also taken into account. From January 2021, it will also be possible to apply for this aid online via a tax advisor. In addition, the new start-up aid will provide support for solo self-employed people who, due to their low fixed costs, have not been able to benefit from the bridging aid so far. With a one-time lump sum for operating costs of 25% of the comparative turnover of up to € 5,000, solo self-employed persons with low fixed operating costs are also to be supported. We will also inform you about the financial support on the homepage and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio allow further relief from the broadcasting fee for companies that are particularly affected by the Corona pandemic due to plant closures. An exemption can be applied for via the link. For the exemption, the company must have an official order to close for a total of three months. However, the period does not have to consist of three consecutive full calendar months. For the calculation, all days of a corona-related closure can be added together. Further information is available here

December 11

Do you run a restaurant in Neuss? Then use the time of the current closure to apply for a grant for the preparation of winter-proof outdoor terraces by December 15 2020. With the grant programme and the free use of the outdoor terrace areas in the winter season, the City of Neuss wishes to support the local gastronomy businesses for the time of reopening by funding the purchase of tents such as pavilions and pagodas or windbreaks. The money will be paid out when the restaurants reopen. Further information can be found on the homepage.

Currently, the state informs recipients of emergency aid about the settlement procedure by e-mail. Recipients are free to decide whether they want to settle their accounts in the current year and repay any overpayments or whether they want to settle their accounts in the coming year. Those who wish to settle their accounts in the current year can request further information as well as the feedback form via the e-mail contained in the state’s link. Therefore, please only use the link if you actually want to settle the emergency aid this year. For further information, please visit the NRW.Soforthilfe website.

The November aid can still be applied for via a tax advisor until 31.01.2021. The calculation of the aid is based on the turnover from the month of November 2019, without including off-premises sales, as these remain possible in November 2020. In addition, the November aid will be offset against subsidies claimed from the bridging aid in order to avoid over-subsidisation. Furthermore, based on previous practice, it was recommended to enter the e-mail address of the recipient and not that of the tax advisor in the application form so that the documents of the application, including confirmation, etc., are also sent directly to the recipient of the November grant via e-mail. The tax advisor’s own e-mail address is stored in the system in parallel. The November Aid is paid out in instalments. Due to ongoing closures, November Aid will continue for the month of December. The application procedure is still being drawn up. We will provide you with the latest information here.

December 3

In yesterday’s conference of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Minister Presidents of the Länder, the current situation was again discussed. The infection figures have not fallen strongly enough, so it was decided to extend the partial lockdown until January 10 2021. The goal is to reach an incidence level of 50. In the Rhine district of Neuss, the value is 97.4 as of 3 December 2020. We will inform you about the corresponding adjustment of the current Corona Protection Ordinance in NRW via our mailing.
You can watch Chancellor Angela Merkel’s press conference here.

December 2

Since yesterday, the new NRW Corona Protection Ordinance has been in force for the time being)with effect until December 20 2020. The regulations, which were initially limited until 30.11.2020, especially the closures of catering establishments, have been extended until 20.12.2020. You will find a summary of the regulations on the homepage. Due to the continuing restrictions and business closures, the federal government is planning to extend the extraordinary economic aid, “November aid”, to the month of December as well. As soon as there are more details on this, you will find them summarised here with us.

Despite the ongoing lockdown, more than 30 Neuss restaurateurs have already applied for a grant to make the outdoor terrace winter-proof for the time after the closure. With the grant programme and the free use of outdoor terrace areas in the winter season, the city of Neuss is supporting local restaurateurs, also for the time of the reopening. Applications for a grant for the purchase of tents, such as pavilions or pagodas or windbreaks can be submitted until December 15 2020. The funds will be paid out when the catering facilities reopen. Further information can be found here.

The Jubilee Foundation of Sparkasse Neuss supports artists living in Neuss with funding totalling 70,000 euros. Funds are provided for targeted project proposals. Applications can be submitted until 15.01.2020. Further information is available on the homepage of Sparkasse Neuss.

The third funding phase of the bridging grants will continue to support companies affected by the pandemic response measures in the coming year. Grants will be paid from January to June 2021 and will be based on the amount of the company’s fixed costs. Further improvements are to be made compared to the first two funding phases. Especially for solo self-employed persons, the subsidy will be replaced by a new start-up subsidy, which is aimed at those who cannot claim any fixed costs within the framework of the bridging subsidies. Accordingly, 25% of the reference turnover December to June 2019 is to be paid out as a one-off lump sum for operating costs. The maximum funding amount is 5,000 euros. Further information is available on the homepage.

The BMWi’s “Digital Now” investment funding for small and medium-sized enterprises experienced very high demand, so that the funds for 2020 were quickly exhausted. From December 1 2020, however, companies can register online again and thus take part in a random allocation of funding. From January 2021, the grants will then be drawn by lot among companies. The full application will only be submitted once the company has been drawn. The programme consists of two modules: Investment in digital technologies and investment in the qualification of employees. The funding consists of a non-repayable grant, which is proportionate to the investment costs of the company and is scaled according to the size of the company. For example up to 250 employees, up to 45%. Further information is available on the BMWi website.

November 26

The November aid can be applied for as of now. The application deadline is 31.01.2021. For businesses that are particularly affected by the current Corona restrictions, the extraordinary economic aid will take effect, which is intended to compensate for the financial losses of the businesses. The November assistance grants non-refundable subsidies amounting to 75% of the corresponding turnover in November 2019, which is calculated on a pro-rata basis by day for the duration of the ordered closures. As with bridging grants, the application is made by a tax advisor, lawyer or accountant. Solo self-employed persons are eligible to apply directly up to a maximum subsidy of 5,000 euros and do not have to commission a tax advisor or auditor with the application. Further information on eligibility and the application procedure is available on the homepage.

In yesterday’s conference of the Chancellor and the Minister Presidents, the extension of the partial lockdown for December was discussed. We will inform you about the regulations from December 1 as soon as they are published in the form of the new Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of NRW. The federal government plans to provide financial aid, so-called “December aid” for affected companies in December as well.

November 6

Novemberhilfe – financial support from the federal government. As announced in our last mailing, we would like to inform you today about the requirements of the extraordinary economic aid now defined by the Federal Government. Companies that are directly or indirectly particularly affected by the current Corona restrictions in November can apply for the November aid (out of a total volume of 10 billion euros) in the next few days. The aid is intended to compensate for the financial losses caused by the temporary closures. A reimbursement of 75% of the corresponding turnover of the previous month is intended to cover the running costs of the businesses. We have compiled further information on eligibility, requirements and the procedure on the homepage.

Support for the catering industry. Catering establishments offering out-of-home sales during the November closure period can benefit fully from the November aid. The special rule for the catering trade is that 75% of the turnover from the comparable period in 2019 is limited to the turnover generated by the sale of food in the restaurant. Revenue from the collection and delivery service in the same month of the previous year is not taken into account when calculating the aid. In return, these revenues from out-of-home sales during closures will be excluded from the calculation of aid in order to encourage the expansion of this business. Further information on this and a practical example of the regulation of out-of-home sales can also be found on the homepage.

But the support of the city of Neuss will also continue in November. Use the time of the closure, for example, to apply for a subsidy for tents/windbreaks for your outdoor catering. You can find the support offered by the City of Neuss, such as the support programme “Winter-proof outdoor catering”, here. You can continue to advertise your delivery or pick-up service for your customers free of charge on the Rheinkreishelden portal after registering.

Updated corona protection regulation. The Corona Protection Ordinance was updated again in a few parts on November 5. The changes made can be viewed in the amendment regulation. An important innovation is the ban on selling alcoholic beverages between 11 pm and 6 am. This does not only apply to sales in kiosks, but also to sales outside the premises by the catering trade. In addition, the list of fines has been updated in view of the new provisions of the Corona Protection Regulation.

Special programme on environmental economics. SMEs as well as newly established companies in the environmental sector can receive non-repayable grants for innovative projects. Five million euros will be made available for this purpose. The Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to use the special programme for the environmental economy to support companies which have got into difficulties as a result of the Corona crisis. Further information on the funding programme can be found on the website of the project management organisation Jülich.

By Vincent Green, November 6 2020

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