Companies in all sectors can apply for business cost support, some without further justification
Business cost support is intended for companies whose turnover has decreased by more than 30% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22 April 2021, the Government issued a decree on the sectors that can apply for support without providing further justification. If a company does not operate in one of the sectors in the decree, it must justify the need for support and provide an account of the loss of turnover due to COVID-19.
The decree includes the sectors where turnover has fallen by at least 10% between 1 November 2020 and 28 February 2021, compared with the corresponding period in 2019–2020. The decrease in companies’ turnover will also be calculated based on these reference periods.
The State Treasury will accept applications for the third round of business cost support from Tuesday 27 April 2021. The deadline for applications is 23 June 2021.
New companies eligible for business cost support if they operate in the sectors of the decree
The third application round for business cost support covers 180 sectors, whereas 220 were listed in the second round. The sectors now include travel agencies and tour operators, organisers of trade fairs and congresses, hotels and other accommodation services, restaurants, and cultural and entertainment businesses.
However, the State Treasury may also grant business cost support to companies in other sectors on a discretionary basis if the company’s turnover has decreased by more than 30% during the support period. The grounds for discretionary aid will be specified in the State Treasury’s application instructions in order to help companies to assess and explain in their application why their turnover has decreased.
New companies are eligible for business cost support if they operate in the sectors defined in the decree. Companies established on or after 1 January 2020 are considered new companies. They may be granted support based on changes in the average turnover of the sector. However, new companies are not be eligible for discretionary aid because they cannot demonstrate a change in the company’s turnover.
Listing of sectors to help allocate aid to companies affected by the pandemic
The listing of eligible sectors will help to better take into account other reasons for a decrease in a company’s business. These may include seasonal fluctuations or declines in turnover for reasons other than COVID-19.
The sectors listed in the decree were determined based on VAT data from the Tax Administration. Cost support cannot be granted to businesses in primary agricultural production, fisheries and aquaculture, as these sectors are subject to separate State aid rules that are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Business cost support also covers foundations and associations engaged in business activities.
The State has earmarked a total of EUR 356 million for the third application round of business cost support and closure compensation*. Business cost support is compensation for the company’s inflexible costs, but it does not compensate for a fall in turnover. The objective of the support is to help companies cope with the difficult economic situation caused by the coronavirus.
Maija Lönnqvist, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 331 3791
* Addition on 26 April 2021: A total of EUR 356 million has been reserved for both the third round of business cost support and closure compensation.