Equity funding

(Updated 1.7.2020)

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

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.

With the introduction of general cost support, ELY centers’ funding related to Korona was closed on June 8, 2020.

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

With the introduction of general cost support, Business Finland’s funding related to Korona was closed on June 8, 2020. 

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 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.

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.

Business cost support for companies 

The Finnish Government has decided to introduce a new form of support intended to cover the costs of businesses that have experienced a marked decrease in turnover due to the coronavirus and have costs that are difficult to adjust.

The application site for the cost support is open for the period of the 7th of July until 31st of August. The telephone service opens on 1st July and chat service on 7th of July. In addition to companies, foundations and associations that do business can apply for the support according to the bill. The sectors within the scope of support are specified on the State Treasury’s website. However, if the company’s sector is not within the scope of support, the company can only apply for the support on particularly serious grounds having to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

The cost support is intended for companies

  • whose sector’s turnover decreased at least 10% to the comparison period
  • whose own turnover decreased by at least 30% from the comparison period
  • whose payroll costs and fixed costs are difficult to adjust
  • with a turnover of at least €20,000 over the comparison period
  • who were not in financial difficulties on the 31st December 2019 (before COVID-19)
  • who have not defaulted on their tax obligations
  • who have not been declared bankrupt or have not a bankruptcy case pending

The applicant must state in the application 

– the average turnover for the comparison period, which is

  • the company’s average monthly sales during the period of the 1st March to 30th June 2019 OR
  • if the company has started after the 1st March 2019, the average monthly sales during the period of the 1st January to 29th February 2020.

The decrease in turnover is stated in the VAT returns submitted to the Tax Administration or in their absence according to the company’s own return.

– turnover for the support period which is

  • the company’s revenue in April 2020 OR
  • the average monthly turnover for the period of the 1st April to 31st May 2020
  • fixed costs per month by type of costs (types can be found in the application form) for the support months (The State Treasury obtains the payroll costs of the company’s employees paid during the support period in accordance with the information in the Incomes Register.)

The application does not require any attachments; however, the State Treasury may request supplementary documents separately. If you change your information for the Tax Administration (e.g. account number), wait a week before submitting your application so that the information can be updated at the end of the State Treasury as well. According to the bill, the support granted to the company must exceed €2,000. The maximum amount of support is €500,000 per company. Other types of support received by the company are taken into account, i.e. consolidated. More information on the support can be found at this link on the State Treasury website.

 

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).