A new application round on business cost support and closure compensation
A new application round will be organised for business cost support and closure compensation. Companies will apply for support at the State Treasury. The Government proposes that the amendments be ratified in the presidential session on 11 March 2022. The legislative amendments will enter into force on 15 March 2022.
With regard to closure compensation, eligible companies would include those where premises have been closed in full or in part or where public events organised by these companies have been prohibited by a provision of an act or by order of an authority to manage a pandemic. A less severe restriction or recommendation issued by an authority would not constitute a closure measure referred to in this section. The compensation would not cover events for which the use of a COVID-19 passport would be permitted. The closure compensation would cover the period from 21 December 2021 to 28 February 2022. The amount of compensation would be based on the number of closure days during the support period.
Own liability of business cost support to fall from 30% to 25%
The business cost support compensates for the negative impacts of the less severe restrictions on the sectors and companies affected by such restrictions. The provisions on business cost support will be amended to meet the need for compensation caused by the new and continuing less severe restrictions.
The support period and reference periods would be amended to correspond with the new situation: The support period would be from 1 December 2021 to 28 February 2022 and the reference months from the period preceding the pandemic. For new companies the reference months would be from November 2021. The percentage in the decrease in turnover and the company’s own liability would be reduced from 30% to 25%. Otherwise, the Act would mainly correspond to the content of the current Act.
The amount and procedure of the support would largely correspond to the current provisions. Since the support and reference periods would be redefined, the amounts of support paid may differ from the earlier periods. Aligning the reference periods more closely with the support period will make companies established later (business activities must have started no later than 1 November 2021) eligible for support. The total maximum amount of compensation per group would be EUR 2.3 million.
Preparations for a scheme to compensate for uncovered fixed costs are still under way. The scheme will require EU notification. The scheme is primarily intended for large companies that have met their previous aid ceilings. Business cost support is not limited to companies of a certain size.
All coronavirus-related aid will be affected by the duration of the EU’s exemptions to state aid rules, which will expire on 30 June 2022.
Certain operators in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture and, for example, cultural institutions are not considered economic activities referred to in the EU’s business subsidy legislation and they therefore fall outside this support. The Ministry of Education and Culture is currently preparing a support scheme for these operators.
The State Treasury is scheduled to start accepting applications for closure compensation from 22 March and for business cost support from 26 April.
Mikko Huuskonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 3732