EUR 2,000 in operating support for sole entrepreneurs in the coronavirus situation – application to open as soon as possible

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 31.3.2020 11.41 | Published in English on 14.4.2020 at 11.20
Press release

Sole entrepreneurs may apply for financial support from municipalities to cope with the coronavirus situation. The support is applied for from the municipality in which the business is located. The amount is EUR 2,000. This will be granted to cover the costs of running a business as a self-employed person without employees.

The aim is to ensure that a business that receives the support will be able to continue its operations in a profitable manner after the crisis. The support is intended to maintain the liquidity of sole entrepreneurs.

The application will be opened in the municipalities as soon as possible, but no later than in two weeks. The municipalities will announce the opening of the application. The municipalities will receive practical instructions for granting the support, including an application form template.

Weakened financial situation a condition for eligibility

This support is granted to self-employed persons without employees who engage full-time in Finland in some form of economic activity, regardless of its legally defined form or its source of financing. This category of self-employed persons with no employees includes entrepreneurs and other self-employed persons who have no employees on their payroll, including freelancers.

There may be several persons in the position of an entrepreneur in the business who are not wage-earners, i.e. not in an employment relationship, but not necessarily any persons who are in an employment relationship. Such businesses with multiple entrepreneurs are covered by the services of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Limited liability companies, limited and general partnerships and cooperatives that employ at least six persons in an employment relationship may apply for support from Business Finland.

A condition for granting the support is significant deterioration in the finances of the business and decrease in turnover since 31 December 2019, which must be proven by the entrepreneur. The support is discretionary. Support will not be granted to a business that was in financial difficulties before the coronavirus crisis or to a business with tax depths.

Support may be granted for costs that arise between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020. The support is temporary, and it may be applied for until 30 September 2020.

Sole entrepreneurs may also apply for unemployment security

The support may be applied for even if the entrepreneur will also apply for the unemployment security envisaged to be extended to entrepreneurs. If this EUR 2,000 in support is applied for to cover fixed costs, it has no effect on unemployment security. Instead, if the support is used to pay salary to the entrepreneur or other reimbursement that is to be considered earned income as compensation for labour, it may have an effect on the unemployment security payments.

The State and municipalities will conclude a commission agreement that is based on the template prepared jointly by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The support is fully State-funded. The amount to be allocated to each municipality depends on the number of sole entrepreneurs that may be eligible. The funds available in each municipality are a calculated percentage of the EUR 100 million granted in State funding.

Inquiries:
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7213
Marja-Riitta Pihlman, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 9208
Ilona Lundström, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7186
Jaana Lappi, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 2658
Jan Hjelt, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. 029 504 8940
Timo Reina, Deputy Managing Director, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, tel. 09 771 2700
Jarkko Huovinen, Director of the Regions and Urban Development, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, tel. +358 9 771 2550
Juha Myllymäki, Legal Director, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, tel. +358 9 771 2193