A retailer is not entitled to the so-called December Aid, even if its shops had to remain closed from mid-December 2020 due to the Corona lockdown. That was the decision of the administrative court in Berlin, which dismissed the lawsuit filed by a shoe store chain.
In autumn 2020, the heads of government of the federal and state governments decided on stricter measures to combat the corona pandemic. Leisure facilities such as theaters, cinemas, brothels, baths and gyms had to close from November.
For November and December, these companies could each apply for “extraordinary economic aid” of up to 75 percent of the turnover in the same month of the previous year – the so-called November or December aid.
The trade – which also includes the plaintiff’s shoe stores – initially remained open. It was not until December 16th that most shops had to stop operating. Only certain shops that were urgently needed to supply the population, such as supermarkets, remained open.
Companies that were affected by closures could apply for Bridging Aid III. However, this only covered fixed costs such as rent and electricity – not the loss of sales.
The plaintiff saw this as unequal treatment of the various sectors and wanted to sue December Aid. However, the administrative court dismissed this action.
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The reasoning: The provision of services is fundamentally different from the sale of goods. For example, while visits to the beauty salon, theater or restaurant are not necessarily made up for, covering the need for material goods can also be postponed or done online.
In addition, the facilities and companies that have been affected since November 2020 have been closed for six weeks longer. Prolonged closure could lead to the loss of customers.
The Chamber ruled that not every company that has had to close is entitled to the same extraordinary economic aid. The judgment can be appealed against.