ELY Centres' funding for companies in the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus

Applying ends on 8.6.2020 at 16.15

As the number of applications submitted has exceeded by 20 times the normal number of applications submitted per year, the average application processing time is approximately 40 days. We apologize for the delay in application processing.

ELY Centres grant business development aid to companies negatively impacted by the market and production disturbances caused by the coronavirus outbreak. To ensure smooth processing of applications, the division of tasks between the ELY Centres' funding and Business Finland's funding is determined by the company's number of employees. Companies should not apply for funding from both Business Finland and an ELY Centre on the basis of the disruptive circumstances.

  • The ELY Centres will grant funding to companies employing a maximum of five people at the time of application.
  • Sole entrepreneurs, however, are not eligible for the grants provided by ELY Centres. A separate financing model for sole entrepreneurs is under development to address difficulties caused by the coronavirus.
  • Business Finland grants funding to companies with more than 5 employees.
     

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AID for the market and production disturbances caused by the coronavirus outbreak

Who can apply
What can the aid be applied for
Funding criteria
Applying for the aid
Payment of aid
Contact details

The aim of the aid is to help companies to minimize the adverse effects of the coronavirus outbreak and to encourage companies to provide employment.

As a rule, the aid granted cannot exceed 30% of the company's business volume. The costs of the development project must also be proportional to the content of the development project proposed by the company. In the case of newly established companies, an assessment is made of whether the corona epidemic has reduced the turnover of the company to such an extent that it is appropriate to approve the set 30% excess aid.

Who can apply

Regardless of the type of business, the aid can be granted to all companies that:

  • employ up to five people (including the entrepreneur/entrepreneurs). As an exception to the general rule also, for example, the amount of employees who are laid-off can be taken into consideration when viewing the size of the company. Sole entrepreneurs, however, are not eligible for the grants provided by ELY Centres. (Updated 16.4.2020)
  • have experienced temporary market and production disturbances caused by the coronavirus
  • seek to renew and strengthen their expertise
  • companies in all other sectors, except for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and agricultural products processing industry

In addition, the aid is also intended for those sole entrepreneurs (sole proprietorship) that employ more than five people.

Companies that employ more than five people can apply for grant-based funding (funding for business development in disruptive circumstances) from Business Finland. Companies should not apply for funding from both Business Finland and an ELY Centre on the basis of the disruptive circumstances.

The funding is a form of de minimis aid and may be granted provided that the company has not exceeded its de minimis quota. The maximum permissible amount of de minimis aid is 200,000 euros (100,000 euros in the case of companies operating in road transport) over the current and two previous tax years. The aid recipient is responsible for ensuring that the total amount of de minimis aid granted by different parties (e.g. ministries and authorities under them, Finnvera Oyj, municipalities and regions) does not exceed these amounts. Not all public funding granted to companies is de minimis aid. De minimis aid is identified in a grant decision that states the corresponding amount of de minimis aid and refers to the European Union minor (de minimis) aid regulation.

Funding can be granted throughout the country (excluding Aland).
 

What can the aid be applied for

The aid can be granted for

  1. conducting a situation analysis or
  2. carrying out development measures

You cannot apply for funding for both services at the same time. Funding for each service can only be granted once. If you have applied for funding to conduct a situation analysis, you can only apply for funding for development measures one month after submitting your situation analysis application.

You should have the situation analysis done before starting development measures, therefore, we recommend that you apply for the aid for situation analysis first and only after that for development measures.

  1. Conducting a situation analysis

A company can analyse and plan

  • the company's operations,
  • new business activities,
  • the organising of production and services during and after the market and production disruption.

The application for payment must include a final report on the activities carried out in the project.

The amount of aid for conducting a situation analysis

  • the aid can amount to a maximum of 80% of the imputed eligible costs
  • the amount of the aid may not exceed 10,000 euros
  • up to 70% of the granted funding may be paid in advance

Eligible costs to be covered by the aid can include:

  • imputed salary costs of the people working in the company
    • When calculating the number of workers eligible for the grant, one worker is a person, who works for the company on average at least 30 hours/week. It is possible to take into account the total working hours of several persons participating in the project, so that the required minimum working time (30 hours/week) may consist e.g. of the combined working hours of two different persons.
  • indirect costs (e.g. employer contributions) which should amount to a maximum of 50% of imputed salary costs.

For salary costs, a standard imputed salary of 2,000 euros per person working in the company is used, regardless of the actual salary paid to a person. In their applications, companies shall calculate their salary costs based on this standard salary. The corresponding imputable cost per person shall also be indicated in the application for payment.

E.g. if there are two people working in the company (e.g. entrepreneur + one employee), the amount of aid would be determined as follows: 2 persons x 2,000 euros + 50% indirect costs = 6,000 euros, of which 80% (aid level) equals a grant of 4,800 euros.

However, the maximum amount of eligible salary costs is 12,500 euros, including indirect costs, for which the grant may not exceed 10,000 euros.

  1. Development measures

Aid can be granted for larger development measures that improve the company's capabilities during and after the market and production disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The measures can involve, for instance

  • redirecting the business,
  • developing the subcontracting chain,
  • new ways to organise production,
  • product and service development, as well as
  • strengthening of expertise.

The application for payment must include a final report on the activities carried out in the project.

The amount of aid for carrying out development measures

  • the aid can amount to a maximum of 80% of the imputed eligible costs.
  • the amount of the aid may not exceed 100,000 euros and it should be proportionate to the scale of the company's activities.
  • up to 70% of the granted funding may be paid in advance.

Eligible costs include:

  • actual salaries of the company personnel working for the project, including actual salaries of entrepreneurs
  • costs deriving from the use of external services and experts, including staff training (NOTE! This does not include buying machinery and equipment!) > external expert costs of up to 60,000 euros can be accepted
  • raw materials and semi-finished products related with product development when building a prototype
  • indirect costs calculated on the basis of salaries (incl. employer's contributions) 50%

NOTE! Investment costs such as buying, for example, machinery and equipment, buildings, patents and licences, cannot be included in the aid.

Funding criteria:

  • The company is experiencing or will experience temporary setbacks due to the coronavirus, but the company makes efforts to renew itself and improve its expertise.
  • The company is estimated to have the prerequisites for profitable operations in the future.
     

Applying for the aid

The aid application for ELY Centres can be completed online in the Regional administration e-services. Attached to the application should be the company's most recent final accounts. If these are older than 31 December 2019, attach the cumulative income statement and balance sheet for up until the end of the month preceding the application.

NOTE! Choose the right type of aid, i.e. under business funding choose business development aid for market and production disturbances caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Please read carefully through the application guidelines before you start filling in the application. Before sending the application, make sure that the information given in the application is correct. After sending the application you will not be able to supplement it yourself. In that case, the only way to supplement it, is though the ELY Centre.

You can log in to the regional administration e-services through Suomi.fi. In Suomi.fi e-Identification the company representative can carry out e-Identification using their personal online banking codes, a mobile certificate or certificate card. You can access the e-services by accepting the Terms of Service.

When logging in, the mandates for transactions from the Business Information System (YTJ) and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, as well as the authorisations for Suomi.fi are automatically sought. On the e-services' My Information page you can see the companies/organisations in which you have mandates for transactions. The application can be submitted if the company signature rule allows for sole representation of the company. In order to fill in and submit the application, you need to have one of the following roles in the company/organisation you are representing: authority to sign, private trader, general partner, executive director / deputy executive director, or the authorisation to apply for company funding on behalf of the company.

If the company's trade register information is incomplete or incorrect, it can be corrected by contacting the Finnish Patent and Registration office.

The authorisations needed for representing the company/organisation can be managed in the Suomi.fi access rights service.

Applying for the aid requires the applicant to have a Finnish business ID. The grant can not be applied for on behalf of a company that is being established.

Payment of aid

A maximum of 70% of the aid is paid together with the aid decision provided that the applicant has applied for advance payment in their application. Application for payment of the final instalment of the aid is made using a separate electronic application for payment within the time specified in the funding decision. The application for payment can only be submitted electronically, and must be done through the regional administration e-service. Application for payment can be made in the e-service as of 12 May 2020.

Please read the payment checklist and instructions for applying for payment before you start filling out your application for payment. Before submitting your application for payment, please check that the information provided in the application is correct. After submitting the application, you will no longer be able to modify the application; the application can only be returned for modification through the ELY Centre.

When making the application for payment for the final instalment of aid granted through a situation analysis, the application must explain the impact of the situation analysis on the business's operations. Since the situation analysis is based on calculated costs, the application for payment does not need to present the costs incurred.

The application for payment for the final instalment of aid relating to development measures must present the actual costs incurred in the development project, the measures taken in the development project and the impact of these measures on the company's operations. In addition, an extract of the project-specific accounts must always be attached to the application for payment for development measure projects, and these accounts must indicate the expenditure that relates to the aid granted.

It should be noted that advance payments are taken into account in the payment of the final instalment for aid relating to both situation analyses and development measures.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for payments are processed in the order of arrival, and the time it takes to process them depends on the number of application for payments that have been received.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING ELY-Centres' financing services, please contact:

  • ELY Centres' phone service (Monday to Friday 9-15) tel. 0295 024 800
  • poikkeusrahoitus.ely(at)ely-keskus.fi
  • The Enterprise Finland telephone service provides advice for using the online services (Monday to Friday 9-16.15), tel. 0295 020 502

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on business

The coronavirus outbreak causes significant disruptions in the business activity and liquidity of companies. Companies should contact their bank and Finnvera in a timely manner in case there is a need for additional working capital or repayment schedule arrangements. It is also possible to use special arrangements regarding tax and pension payments. To ease the situation of sole entrepreneurs, a temporary extension of unemployment security is being prepared, allowing sole entrepreneurs to receive unemployment security under certain conditions.

The Talousapu counselling service provides guidance on what to do in situations caused by the coronavirus crisis. The phone number of the Talousapu counselling service is 029 502 4880 and it serves from Monday to Friday 9.00–16.00.

Companies can also make use of ELY Centres' business development services for evaluation and planning of activities. The daily price of Analysis and Consulting Services is 30 euros + VAT.

Päivitetty

ELY Centres' phone service 3. - 13.8.2020 Tuesday to Thursday 9 - 12, tel. 0295 024 800

poikkeusrahoitus.ely(at)ely-keskus.fi

The Enterprise Finland telephone service (Monday to Friday 9 - 16.15), tel. 0295 020 502