... under certain conditions
To avoid misuse, project initiators linked their loans from the outset with a number of binding provisions. These provided, for example, that an undertaking benefiting from that aid could not pay shareholders any dividends until it had repaid the loan in full. In the same way, the scheme could be refused to a company within a group whose subsidiary was simultaneously developing new projects. The introduction of these rules, together with tighter controls, led to complaints being filed and convictions being handed down. Often more out of ignorance than out of a desire to defraud, 219 companies that had secured Covid loans were reported for having paid dividends to their shareholders. That being said, the measure achieved its objective by enabling the Swiss economic fabric to recover without too much damage.