Start-up grants to secure the livelihood of business owners when operations are suspended or there is less work
On 16 April 2020, the Government adopted a temporary amendment to the Government Decree on Public Business and Employment Service, according to which business owners receiving start-up grants are entitled to the payment even for days when they are not able to work in their business due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Decree makes it possible to secure the livelihood of business owners receiving start-up grants in emergency conditions with extensive impacts on society, businesses and individuals that the business owners could not foresee when starting the business.
Instead of unemployment benefits, the livelihood of business owners receiving start-up grants during the coronavirus epidemic will be secured through the grants, even if the business owners were temporarily prevented from doing business or there were less work to be done. For example, if the recipients of start-up grants are able to do business on certain days of the week but not full-time due to the epidemic, start-up grants will also be paid for the days when the business owners are not working.
The Decree entered into force on 17 April 2020 and it will remain in force until 30 June 2020. The Decree is applicable to start-up grants paid between 16 March and 30 June 2020.
The Development and Administration Centre (KEHA) for the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) will inform the business owners receiving start-up grants about the amendment.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is also preparing a Government proposal concerning the extension of the maximum duration of start-up grants. Because of the coronavirus epidemic, the maximum duration of start-up grants would be extended from 12 to 18 months. The legislative amendment would make sure that the business owners receiving start-up grants will be able to start and establish business operations even in the temporarily weakened business environment due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The legislative amendment concerning the extension of the duration of start-up grants should enter into force as soon as possible and it would remain in force until 30 June 2021.
Piia Rekilä, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 3574
Kirsi Hyttinen, Senior Specialist for Legal Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 8263 (media)
Pauliina Smolander, Payments Manager, KEHA Centre, tel. +358 29 502 6152