The ESF aims to stabilize companies in the real economy and avert negative effects on the labor market. In principle, it was aimed at commercial enterprises that met two of the following three criteria in the last two financial years already closed on the balance sheet before January 1st, 2020:
- Balance sheet total of more than € 43 mn,
- more than € 50 mn in sales revenue and
- more than 249 employees on an annual average.
Applications could be submitted until April 2022 to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The Federal Ministry of Finance, in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, decides at the company's request on stabilisation measures to be taken, taking account of
- the importance of the company for Germany's economy,
- the urgency,
- the impact on the labor market and competition, and
- the principle of using the resources of the Economic Stabilisation Fund in the most economical way.
The legal structuring and contractual implementation of approved stabilisation measures was carried out by the Finance Agency. It was also entrusted with the administration of the ESF and is responsible, among other things, for monitoring the measures granted. In addition, it supported the Federal Ministry of Finance with advisory services on the structuring and implementation of stabilisation measures.
An interministerial committee has also been established, chaired by the Federal Ministry of Finance and including the Finance Agency as an advisory member. This ESF committee decides by mutual agreement on matters of principle as well as matters of particular importance and makes decisions on essential measures and conditions.