Coronavirus: Guidance for businesses
The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on business activity in Finland has been considerable. The Government has taken various measures to ensure that companies are able to continue their operations during and after the crisis.
Enterprise Finland’s Talousapu financial assistance service offered advice to businesses facing payment difficulties and provides information on what to do in various situations caused by the coronavirus crisis. The national phone number of this service is +358 29 502 4880, and it is open Monday–Friday 9.00–16.00. More information on Suomi.fi
Business cost support
The aim of business cost support was to help companies in the difficult economic situation caused by the coronavirus.
The Government submitted its proposal for the sixth round of business cost support to Parliament on 10 February 2022 and it entered into force on 15 March 2022. The support period for the sixth round of business cost support was from 1 December 2021 to 28 February 2022. Applications for business cost support in the sixth round was accepted from 26 April.
Companies receiwed compensation if they, due to a provision of an Act or order of an authority, had to keep their premises closed in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Government submitted its proposal on the new closure compensation on 10 February 2022. Companies and other operators could apply for closure compensation for closure measures during 21 December 2021 to 28 February 2022.
The purpose of the event guarantee was to reduce the financial risk of organising events. The guarantee was an advance payment commitment given to event organisers for the costs the organisers declare. If the event was cancelled or its size restricted by law or order of an authority, compensation was paid for the costs incurred.
Applications for event guarantee are no longer accepted.
Loans and guarantees
Contact your bank or finance provider
If your business is temporarily in financial difficulty, you should take early action by first contacting your bank or other business finance provider.
The banks announced they were ready to consider loan repayment holidays and payment rescheduling due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The Government took also action to improve the ability of banks to provide business financing.
Finnvera offers guarantees and loan repayment holidays
Finnvera is a state-owned company that provides specialised financing. It primarily offers various guarantees as security for business finance provided by banks. All types of companies are eligible for Finnvera's financing. Associations and non-profit foundations are not eligible, however.
If your business has a loan from Finnvera, Finnvera can grant loan repayment holidays on a flexible basis according to your needs.
Finnvera also grants guarantees on new loans. In such cases, you should first contact your own bank, as the bank will apply for a guarantee on behalf of your business. A Finnvera guarantee can cover 80 per cent of a bank loan if your business is entered in the Trade Register. Finnvera guarantees cannot be granted if you are self-employed but do not have your own company (‘kevytyrittäjä’, literally ‘light self-employed’), or if you work directly through a tax card, for example as a freelancer.
The guarantees are not a form of direct financial support. Finnvera charges a fee for its guarantees, and it uses these fees to cover its share of the credit losses that can occur when guarantees are given as security for loans. Guarantees of up to EUR 1 million are granted mainly without any security requirements. The fee charged depends on, for example, the loan period and the risk classification, which is based on the applicant company’s financial statements data. The charges made must also comply with EU regulations and the rules on government support. Finnvera is not permitted to compete with banks over financing charges.
Business Finland’s RDI loans
Business Finland introduced a new research, development and innovation loan (RDI loan). This was available to limited companies of all sizes (limited liability companies and public limited companies) and in all sectors.
The loan was intended for all companies operating in labour-intensive sectors in Finland that were suffering from business disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. The purpose of this loan finance was to help companies keep their employees in work during the crisis and also to encourage companies to explore opportunities for providing new jobs in Finland after the crisis is over.
Tesi’s funding programme
Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company specialising in the venture capital and private equity market. It launched a funding programme to ensure that medium-sized companies that had run into temporary difficulties due to the coronavirus epidemic would be able to stay in business. Dealing with medium-sized companies, the programme focused on businesses that are highly important in Finland in terms of their employment impact and turnover (turnover of at least EUR 10 million, more than 50 employees, profitable business operations before the crisis and potential for this in the future too).
The aim was to prevent viable businesses from going bankrupt as a consequence of a highly exceptional crisis that has had nothing to do with their operations. Tesi’s stabilisation programme invested in businesses that were in a good position to overcome the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic but required additional funding.
Tesi’s Venture Bridge programme
Through its Venture Bridge programme, Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi) invested in technology companies looking for international growth that have previously raised at least seed financing from professional venture capital investors and that have had to postpone their next external financing round due to the coronavirus situation.
Tesi’s Venture Bridge investments were EUR 0.25–2 million in size and private investors invested at least the same amount of capital in the company.
Unemployment benefit was available to entrepreneurs and self-employed
Entrepreneurs were temporarily entitled to labour market support to deal with the sudden and unforeseen decline in demand due to the coronavirus epidemic. This solution applied to all entrepreneurs regardless of the type of business.
Support by sector
Temporary support for rural enterprises and agriculture for financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic
Temporary support for rural enterprises and agriculture helps companies whose financial situation has deteriorated due to market and production disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This form of support was to help companies adapt to the emergency conditions caused by the COVID-19 crisis and to continue profitable operations, and to secure jobs in the transition towards normal conditions.