Support for businesses to mitigate the effects of Brexit – Act to enter into force at the beginning of 2023
On 29 December 2022, the President of the Republic approved the Act on the National Implementation of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. Funds from the Reserve will be used to support companies that have been negatively affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The support is channelled as business development aid from the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).
The Decree on Discretionary Government Grants for the Development of Business Operations in 2021–2028 lays down further provisions on the national implementation of the Reserve. The Government approved the amendments to the Decree on 29 December 2022. The amendments also concern a new lump sum payment and the maximum amount of support for improving companies’ operating environment.
The amendments to the Decree will enter into force at the beginning of 2023.
Support from the Brexit Reserve to companies negatively affected between 1 January 2020 and 31 August 2023 by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
Business development aid is a discretionary government grant that the ELY Centres can award to SMEs for innovative development measures and investments promoting growth and international projects. A grant may also be awarded to a large company for investment in a new unit, business area, product or service.
Business development aid may be awarded from the Brexit Reserve funds if the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has had a negative impact on the company’s business operations between 1 January 2020 and 31 August 2023 and the project concerned is estimated to reduce this impact.
Applications for a grant payable from the Reserve must be submitted by 31 August 2023. The grant from the Reserve must be paid no later than 31 December 2023, unless there are special reasons for deciding otherwise.
Adverse impacts on a company’s business operations include a decrease in turnover, dismissals, shutdown of operations and a reduction in exports or imports. The impacts may also include situations in which a subcontractor in the supply chain has lost orders even though it does not have direct exports to the UK. Grants may be awarded to projects that reduce such adverse impacts on the company’s business operations. The projects may involve exploring replacement markets, launching new markets, participating in international trade fairs or adapting products or services to the UK or other markets.
EUR 9 million from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve is available for business development aid in mainland Finland. The grants will be awarded by the ELY Centres of North Ostrobothnia, South Savo, Central Finland and Häme.
Changes to the support for improving operating environment
The support for improving companies’ operating environment is a discretionary grant which the ELY Centres may award to non-profit making public and private corporations and foundations for:
- studies necessary for business activities
- mutual collaboration between companies, collaboration between companies and higher education institutions and collaboration between companies and research institutes
- promotion of research with business networks.
The support for improving companies’ operating environment will change so that it can also be awarded as a lump sum payment. In addition, the amendment to the Decree would make it possible, for special reasons, to award more than 80 per cent of the eligible costs to research projects with business networks and to analysis and coordination projects on national or regional strategic themes.
(Decree on business development aid) Mikko Ojala, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 063 506 (available on 29 December and from 9 January)
(Decree on business development aid) Ida Berg, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 043 (available on 29 December and from 2 January)
(Brexit Adjustment Reserve) Johanna Osenius, Director for Regional Development, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 937
(Brexit Adjustment Reserve) Eliisa Hujala, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 949 (available from 16 January 2023)