“If we don't act, the first will be on their knees in a few weeks”

Christian Miele's worries have increased again significantly. The head of the Federal Association of German Startups knew that many start-ups were hit hard by the crisis. “But it is even more dramatic than I thought possible,” says Miele.

Nine out of ten start-ups are severely impaired in their business. 80 percent fear therefore for their existence. These are the central results of a survey by the association, in which more than 1000 start-ups participated.

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Exemplary companies like Auto1 or Flixbus are already working on short-time work. But reducing costs only helps to a limited extent. “Start-ups are particularly affected by the crisis, since they often still do not make any money and of course slip into the red very quickly due to the standstill,” says Ulrike Hinrichs, head of the Federal Association of German Capital Investment Companies (BVK).

Start-ups are rarely creditworthy

And also many of the state support measures via KfW do not help. “This way Most of the time, it doesn't work with the house banks, “says Miele. Most start-ups did not get loans before the crisis. Because of the risky business models, the success of which has yet to be proven, they are financed through business angels or venture capitalists.

Small companies with less than ten employees can at least get the immediate help from 9000 or Request . 000 for small business owners and also for large start-ups. ups with a company There is a prospect of a solution of more than 50 million euros: Last week the Federal Government expanded the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) accordingly.

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Actually, the rescue package is intended for very large companies. But they want to prevent the next generation of German small and medium-sized businesses “being bought by strategic investors at a bargain price,” says Thomas Jarzombek, commissioner for start-ups and the digital economy at the Federal Ministry of Economics. However, the regulation is not yet in force, and the EU is currently clarifying whether the rescue package is permitted under state aid law. According to estimates by the startup association, the WSF should then be available for 150 to 200 largest German start-ups come into question.

Two billion for start-ups

“But the majority of start-ups fail,” says Miele. Neither emergency aid for small businesses nor the WSF rescue package are suitable for the general public. Jarzombek therefore promised another aid program “in the foreseeable future”. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to bring forward part of the planned future fund for financing. The Vice Chancellor announced in Munich that the program would be activated so that two billion could be used very quickly.

There is not much time for some companies. “If we don't act quickly and substantially, the first start-ups will be on their knees in a few weeks,” warns Miele. Most would need help over the next two months, according to the survey.