Public aid for financing

The proper use of "capital" is essential for the productivity of an economic system. Easy access to corporate financing and having framework conditions which promote competition in financial markets are important elements of policies for economic growth and are sound economic policy in general. 

The Confederation, first and foremost, focuses its efforts on creating favorable framework conditions. Its support for corporate financing is secondary. 

Cantons also have the requisite economic political authority to set up financing programs for companies. Usually they exercise this authority by offering a broad spectrum of financing options for companies and start-ups. SECO recorded these cantonal options as part of a survey and listed them in its report of 29 March 2017, entitled ‘Fast-growing start-ups in Switzerland’. Cantonal economic promotion measures are aimed at guiding young entrepreneurs in their search for cantonal aid.

There are also measures at the federal level to make it easier for companies to obtain credits or loans such as the SME guarantee system, the Swiss Hotel Credit Company or technology funds. These instruments are also available for start-ups. The Confederation possesses other support mechanisms, including:

Instrument

Beneficiary

Regions

Measures

Loan for SMI

SMEs, Artisans, Start-ups 

All of Switzerland

  • State acts as guarantor for bank loans (max CHF 1 million)

Loans for hotel sector

Hotels

Mountain and Tourist regions

  • Direct subordinated loan
  • Contributions to interest payments (partial)

Measures to encourage self-employment

Unemployed persons All of Switzerland
  • Specific daily allowances (max. 90 days during the planning phase)
  • Guarantee for bank loans of (CHF 500,000 maximum)

Innosuisse - Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation

Joint research projects between universities and companies

All of Switzerland
  • Payment of salary of researchers

Eurostars

For SMEs investing 10% or more of their turnover in R&D 36 European countries including Switzerland
  • Financing for an R&D project shared between to several entities (SMEs and larger companies, universities or HES) up to a maximum of EUR 500,000

Technology fund

Companies whose invention/innovation reduces greenhouse gas emission

Switzerland 

  • Collateral for loans of a maximum of CHF 3 million over 10 years

SECO Start-up Fund (SSF)

Investors domiciled in Switzerland wishing to finance a start-up based abroad

From Switzerland to a developing- or transition- country deemed a priority by SECO

  • Grant of loans covering up to 50% of the total cost of the initial phase (500,000 ceiling)

Tax relief/ as part of a regional policy

Industrial and service companies close to production

Regions of application for tax relief/ break

  • Tax relief from direct federal tax
Source: SECO, "SMEs policy" sector (2018)

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Last modification 25.06.2019

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