Commission approves the first Finnish aid scheme to support companies in the coronavirus outbreak
On 20 April 2020, the European Commission approved an aid scheme under which Finnvera can grant guarantees and loans for working capital and for investments to companies facing financial difficulties as a result of the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic. This is the first State aid decision taken by the Commission concerning Finland’s actions in the coronavirus situation.
The decision is based on the COVID-19 Communication issued by the Commission on 19 March 2020 on a State aid Temporary Framework. The purpose of the Temporary Framework is to enable Member States to use a wide range of measures to ensure that sufficient financing and liquidity remains available to businesses of all types during the crisis. The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of 2020.
Member States shall notify the Commission of any measures taken under the Communication. In addition, the Commission’s approval is required prior to the adoption of the measures.
The State aid scheme enables provision of financing to companies and more flexible pricing and conditions
For Finnvera, the aid scheme will facilitate the implementation of the business financing guidelines set by the Government in financing arrangements separately determined by Finnvera. The scheme will enable provision of financing to companies facing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as more flexible pricing and conditions.
In addition, the aid scheme facilitates the combination of different types of support because the financing provided by Finnvera under the aid scheme is not cumulated with grants or financing granted by other authorities. Similarly, aid granted under the scheme does not count towards the company’s or group’s de minimis aid quota. The maximum de minimis aid that may be granted to companies is EUR 200,000 over three fiscal years.
Olli Hyvärinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 3619
Johanna Rihto-Kekkonen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 313 5197
Juuso Heinilä, Executive Vice President, SMEs, Finnvera, tel. +358 29 460 2576