Financial support during COVID-19: Grants and Kurzarbeitergeld

Due to COVID-19 most of the businesses in Germany and around the world suffer a loss of revenue. As some of the small businesses within our Berlin blockchain ecosystem are also affected by this situation we have decided to publish a blog including different kinds of financing options helping our members through these hard times. Our government keeps evaluating several options on how they can stabilize the German economy. Therefore this blog will be edited as soon as new financing opportunities are provided.


The Investitionsbank Berlin started their application process for grants on 27.03.2020. These grants will be given to solo self-employed persons, freelancers and micro enterprises with a maximum amount of 10 employees (full-time). Two part-time employees would count for one full-time employee.
Over 100 Blockchain-Startups are based in Berlin as of 30th April and the majority of these Startups have less than 10 full-time employees. Therefore these grants will be available for most of the Blockchain-Startups in Berlin. Furthermore, Blockchain is still a relatively new technology and investments as well as orders from large companies might decrease during these uncertain times as they are also highly affected and will concentrate on their core competencies instead of exploring new opportunities.


As of now there is no English version of the specific page available. Therefore you would need to visit the German web-page if you would like to apply for such grants. It is advisable for applicants to follow the official Twitter account of the Investitionsbank Berlin as they regularly post updates.

Application Process

By opening this Link you will enter the queue. At the current moment there are about 170.000 applicants waiting in this queue. So be sure charge your device as it might take over a day until it is your turn. Once this is the case you will have 35 minutes to complete the applications. Applicants are being processed from 6:00 – 23:00.

Which information / Documents do I need ?

Small businesses outside of Berlin

If your business is not based in Berlin you can check out the overview from Bundesfinanzminesterium which lists all support programs from the different states.


The “Kurzarbeitergeld” is a valuable option if your business has significant revenue losses due to missing orders and consequently there is not enough work for your employees. If your business is in such a situation and is not able to pay its employees their full salary, the Kurzarbeitergeld offers the option to decrease the salaries and get a refund from the government.
Employees on short-time work generally receive 60 percent of their flat-rate net remuneration. If there is at least one child living in the household, the Kurzarbeitergeld is 67 percent of the lost flat-rate net remuneration. The maximum statutory period of payment is 12 months. Social security contributions for lost working hours are reimbursed at 100 percent.
For more information about further requirements and how to start the application process you can visit the website of the Arbeitsagentur.