(Updated 21.12.2020)

Debt financing

The European Central Bank has decided to offer low interest rate loans to banks if they lend money to SMEs that have ended up in financial difficulties due to the coronavirus. It also facilitates the lending operations of banks by lowering their solvency requirements. The ECB has kept its interest rates unchanged: deposit facility rate at -0.5 per cent and the key interest rate at 0.0 per cent.

Finnvera is prepared for increased financing needs caused by the coronavirus. Finnvera will take a flexible approach to all needs to provide financing due to the coronavirus. They have the resources to increase the financing to SMEs considerably and that way help the companies though the crisis. The company has to fulfil the conditions for profitable operations in the long term.

Finnvera recommends its customers to proceed as follows:

Finnvera will reduce and simplify the pricing of its guarantees used in working capital financing for the corona situation retroactively from the beginning of March. The annual guarantee commission for the initial Start guarantee, the SME guarantee for companies that have been operating for more than 3 years and the Finnvera guarantee for fast Track will be reduced to a maximum of 1.75%. The delivery fee for the initial guarantee and the SME guarantee will be reduced and will be 0.1% of the guarantee amount in the future. The change applies to the above-mentioned guarantees issued from March 1, 2020, and will be taken into account in the company’s invoicing without separate contact from the customer. In addition, Finnvera will retroactively reimburse the difference in fees to those customers who have already paid a higher guarantee commission or delivery fee. For Fast Track, the delivery fee remains unchanged at approximately EUR 400.

The EU has confirmed an interest rate subsidy program for Finnvera, which will expand its lending opportunities. The guarantee share can be increased to 90 % in bond loans. The price of financing is not affected by the increase in the guarantee share.

Finnvera is expanding the use of SME Guarantee and Start Guarantee to concern also financing required by the economic conditions caused by the coronavirus.
Read more here.

Public enterprise subsidies

General cost support

The cost support for companies is intended for companies whose turnover has fallen because of the pandemic and who therefore have difficulty coping with wage and other costs for the support period that are difficult to adjust. 

The second application round for cost support has opened and will end on February 26, 2021 at 4.15 pm. 

More information about Business cost support (second round) on State Treasury’s site here 

Rural and agricultural and horticultural enterprises

The government has decided to support rural and agricultural and horticultural enterprises with EUR 30 million. An amount of EUR 10 million will be allocated to companies operating in the business sector. In addition, preparations are being made for an increase in the guarantee liabilities of state guarantees for agricultural holdings and for supporting the operating conditions for water supply. More information about this support funding is available under the links-heading on this page.

Fish industry companies

The aid is available to companies in the fisheries sector whose financial situation has significantly weakened due to the coronavirus epidemic after 31 December 2019. The purpose of the grant is to ensure the continuity of business during significant market and production disruptions due to the epidemic.

Support can be granted to Group I commercial fishermen in mainland Finland and to full-time commercial fishermen in Åland. In addition, aid may be granted to companies engaged in fish farming, fish processing and fish wholesale and retail throughout the country. Aid can only be granted to companies that have had the conditions for profitable business before the start of the interest rate crisis.

The amount of support may not exceed 70% of the necessary financial adjustment needs assessed by the ELY Center. The grant can range from 2,000 to 120,000 euros. The amount of aid will be considered taking into account the other grants received by the company to manage the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

The application procedure opened 14.10.2020. More info here (only in Finnish).

Restaurants

The government has agreed on a model to support restaurants in employment and to reimburse costs that companies have not been able to adapt to the change caused by the statutory restriction.

The model prepared by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy consists of two complementary parts: support for re-employment and compensation for restrictions on activities. The support requires a separate application, but compensation can be reimbursed without an application on the basis of the information provided to the tax office. Re-employment support is also available for the employment of leased workers. The model has been designed to take into account the seasonal variation of the business.

Grants are paid by the KEHA Center. More details here.

Links

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and agencies in its administrative branch follow the coronavirus situation very closely. More on the subject from their website.

Temporary aid to rural enterprices for financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic from Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

Securing the operating conditions for fish sector (only in Finnish).