Design and impact of COVID-19 hardship measures

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Key facts

The Confederation and the cantons introduced various measures in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included the COVID-19 hardship measures which were intended to prevent bankruptcies and job losses at businesses that were faced with high, uncovered, fixed costs as a result of the official measures to combat the pandemic. The hardship measures came into force in December 2020 and were a supplement to existing assistance, such as short-time working and COVID-19 loss of earnings compensation. The cantons were responsible for implementing the hardship measures. They decided whether to introduce measures on their territories and how to organise them. In total, around 35,000 businesses received support, mainly in the form of non-repayable contributions, totalling around CHF 5.3 billion.