Equity funding

(Updated 25.5.2020)

State-owned private equity company Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is prepared to provide further financing to its target companies due to any extraordinary funding needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 14, 2020, the state-owned private equity companyt Tesi launched a financing program to ensure the continuation of the operations of medium-sized companies in temporary difficulties due to the coronavirus. The stabilization program will be investing in companies that are able to cope with the financial problems caused by the virus with additional funding. Investments made under the interim program will provide assistance to the corporate liquidity crisis on an accelerated schedule. The investments amount to EUR 1-10 million.

Tesi finances medium-sized companies with a significant employment impact and turnover in Finland through through the program:

  • Turnover at least 10 mill. EUR
  • Number of employees over 50
  • The business has been profitable before the crisis and the conditions for it will continue to exist

Stabilization funding can be applied for through Tesi’s website. The new financing program is to ensure the continuation of the operations of medium-sized companies that  have experienced temporary difficulties due to the coronavirus.  The investments made under the interim stabilization program differ from Tesi’s normal direct investment activities, and provide assistance to the company’s acute liquidity crisis. Depending on the situation, Tesi makes investments either as equity investments or convertible bonds. Investments range from 1 to 10 million euros.

Further information in Finnish:
Tesi on varautunut jatkorahoittamaan kohdeyhtiöitään koronaviruksen mahdollisesti aiheuttamissa ylimääräisissä rahoitustarpeissa.
Tesi käynnistää 14.4.2020 rahoitusohjelman koronaviruksen vuoksi tilapäisiin vaikeuksiin joutuneille keskisuurille yrityksille.

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:

  • Contact your bank as early as possible.
  • Finnvera and banks are taking a flexible approach towards payment arrangements, and such arrangements should be made with the bank as early as possible.
  • Finnvera provides the guarantee to facilitate the working capital granted by the bank.

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. The aim is to start the new service in the week 19.

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

ELY centers, Business Finland and municipalities have launched new financial instruments and services on a fast schedule. The ELY Centre’s Yritys-Suomi Talousapu Advice Service provides instructions on how to act in situations caused by the corona crisis to business operations. Business Finland has two new financial services to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic. State support for sole proprietor entrepreneurs is channelled through municipalities. Below is a concise information package on public business support related to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, according to the type of company, the number of employees and the business sector.

All types of companies that employ 1-5 people and more than 5-employee sole proprietor businesses

All company types that employ 1-5 employees and sole proprietor businesses employing more than 5 people are covered by the ELY Centers’ corona grants. EUR 300 million has been allocated to ELY centers to support companies. The grant is available throughout the country.

There have been changes in the ELY Centres’ Business development services (in Finnish/Swedish only). Consultation services will operate in accordance with the division of the current subheadings. It is not direct monetary support, but support for purchasing expert services. Previously the own contribution was € 300 in consultation services and € 220 in analysis services. Now the share of own payment is only 30€. The services are available, even if you have used them before. In consultation services, the 15-day maximum per company is still valid.

ELY Centres have also Enterprise Development Grant for the corona situation. Significant changes has been made to normal financial policies. Financing is available for enterprises in all sectors, except agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and processing of agricultural products. More information on support funding in these areas below, in the links-section.

ELY Centre has two types of grants: 1. Analysis of the situation 2. Development measures. You can only get both once. If you want to apply both, you need to apply Situation Analysis first. The grant amounts are € 10,000 (Situation Analysis) and € 100,000 (Development Measures), with maximum project sizes of € 12,500 and € 125,000. 70% of the grant can be obtained in advance. You can apply for a new project from the ELY Centre Korona funding, even if you have another ELY-funded project already underway. In these cases, you should pause the on going project.

It is a good idea to hurry to apply for financing for Development Measures, because with the introduction of general cost support, the Corona related development financing will be shut down.

SMEs operating in Finland (ltd, plc, joint-stock company, limited partneship, cooperative) with 6-250 employees and midcap companies

Business Finland’s development funding in the event of a business disruption is directed for SMEs operating in Finland (ltd, plc, joint-stock company, limited partneship, cooperative), which have 6-250 employees, and midcap companies, whose business suffers from the coronavirus situation.

Business Finland’s new funding options are “Preliminary study on business disruptions” and “Development funding for business disruptions”. Companies can use the funding to investigate and plan new business, alternative subcontracting chains and ways to organise production during and after the disruption caused by the coronavirus. The funding services are intended for industries whose business suffers the most from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Customers of the funding services include, among others, the tourism industry, supplementary services for the tourism industry, creative industries and performing arts, and all industries whose subcontracting chains have been or will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. At present the coronavirus has no major effects on Business Finland’s other funding operations. The amount of funding for the new instruments is 80%. The amounts of funding are € 10,000 (preliminary study) and € 100,000 (development funding), which means that the maximum total cost of the projects are € 12,500 and € 125,000, respectively. 70% of the granted funding may be paid in advance.

It is a good idea to hurry to apply for financing for Development Measures, because with the introduction of general cost support, the Corona related development financing will be shut down.

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 80% of the necessary financial adjustment needs assessed by the ELY Center. The grant can range from 3,000 to 10,000 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.

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 government will submit a proposal to Parliament in the coming days. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy communicates separately about the entry into force of the law and instructions to companies to apply for support and receive compensation.

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.

Sole proprietors

Sole proprietors can apply for funding from municipalities for the difficulties caused by the coronavirus. The aid is conditional on profitable business operations before the interruption caused by the corona. The search is made from the company’s location municipality. Companies located in the Turku region apply for support centrally through the Turku Business Region online service maintained by the development company Turku Science Park Oy. Application instructions and a link to the application form is available here. The application forms are processed in the information system of the City of Turku. The amount of support is 2,000 euros. The aid is granted to cover the costs of operating a sole proprietor. Frequently asked questions about support with answers in the links section.

It is also possible for a sole proprietor to receive labor market support. For more information on self-employment unemployment aid, see the “Labour legislation” section of this site.

Government to introduce a new form of support to businesses to cover costs

In negotiations held on 13 May 2020, the Government decided to introduce a new form of support to businesses in all industries to cover their costs. The support is intended for companies that have experienced a marked decrease in turnover due to the coronavirus epidemic, and have costs that are difficult to adjust. Associations and foundations engaged in business activities are also eligible for support.

The exact turnover decrease required to be eligible for support will be determined during further preparations. The support is intended to help cover the company’s fixed costs and salary costs that are difficult to adjust. The levels of compensation will be determined as the preparations proceed. Support may be granted for a period of two months.

Companies that have been granted other coronavirus-related financial support are entitled to apply, but other forms of direct support will be deducted from the support for business costs.  Support for the food and beverage service sector and COVID-19 support for sole entrepreneurs and self-employed people will be deducted in full, and 70% of the support for business development granted by Business Finland and the ELY Centres will be taken into account.

At the moment, ELY Centres and Business Finland grant companies support for business development during the coronavirus epidemic. The Government decided that applications for this form of support would no longer be accepted after the Government has submitted its proposal on support for business costs. Business Finland and ELY Centres will process all applications submitted during the application period for coronavirus-related support.

Companies will be required to submit an electronic support application to State Treasury. The act on support for business costs is expected to enter into force later in May or in the beginning of June.

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Links

Information on the coronavirus outbreak provided by Business Finland for companies here.

Help and support for applying ELY Centre’s grants with local business advisor contact info. This page exists only in Finnish, but business advisors serve also in English.

Questions and answers on corona funding from ELY- centres

Support available to sole entrepreneurs from municipalities for coronavirus-related reasons here.

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).