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More information on COVID-19 support for sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed: pensioners can receive support

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 30.4.2020 15.40 | Published in English on 4.5.2020 at 11.49
Press release

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has made further specifications to its guidelines on COVID-19 support for sole entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Municipalities can also grant support to pensioners. A person can be deemed a full-time entrepreneur even if they receive a pension, and they may be eligible for support if the other terms and conditions are met. Other updates have also been made to the guidelines.

When applying for support, a sole entrepreneur or self-employed person must present a statement of outstanding taxes. If the applicant has an outstanding tax debt, they must provide information on a plan approved by the Tax Administration for the repayment of the debt, a similar plan made with debt enforcement or an application filed for payment arrangements. Unlike Business Finland and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, a municipality cannot verify the business’ tax debt situation when granting support, which leaves the matter to the business owner.

The specifications to the guidelines have been prepared in cooperation with the Association of Local and Regional Authorities and are published on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The guidelines based on the decree on support have also been updated with regard to receiving several COVID-19 subsidies and concerning agricultural entrepreneurs engaged in other business activities, for instance.

Now that the guidelines have been updated, sole entrepreneurs and self-employed people who have received a negative decision on support and are affected by the new specifications should contact their municipality and, if necessary, appeal against the decision.

If the necessary information is not on our website, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment provides municipalities with advice on applying for State aid and arranging the application process for sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed via email at [email protected] and by telephone at +358 29 504 7300 (weekdays at 10–12).

Entrepreneurs should apply for support from the municipality where their business is registered

As a State aid authority, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for granting support to municipalities for sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed. The Government Decree on COVID-19 support defines the purpose of the support and the general conditions for granting it.

The Ministry does not decide on the detailed conditions for granting support; municipalities are responsible for their decisions to grant support to sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Municipalities will help entrepreneurs with the application procedures and process applications in the order of arrival. A large majority of municipalities are already accepting applications for support from sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed.

All in all, 279 municipalities out of 310 have applied for a grant from the Ministry, and 181 municipalities have so far received their grants to support sole entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Municipalities receive the first instalment of their grant within 2–3 weekdays of the decision.

The support available to sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed is a lump-sum payment of EUR 2,000, which is intended to cover costs arising from the entrepreneur’s business activities. Sole entrepreneurs and self-employed people can apply for support from the municipality in which their business is registered, i.e. the business domicile registered in the Business Information System. The State has earmarked a total of EUR 250 million to support sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is monitoring the adequacy of the funding.

Inquiries:

Questions from municipalities on applying for government grants and arranging the application process for sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed:

Lasse Laitinen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. 029 504 7162
Jaana Lappi, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 2658.

Information for municipalities on how to arrange the application process and on granting support to sole entrepreneurs and the self-employed:

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
Kai Ketelimäki, Legal Counsel, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, tel. +358 9 771 2088

Information for entrepreneurs on how to apply for support:

contact your municipality

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