The Finnish Government is expected to pass the decree on state grants to municipalities intended for supporting sole entrepreneurs on Thursday 8 April 2020, after which municipalities will strive to open applications as soon as possible. Instructions for applying for the one-off EUR 2000 support will be published as soon as they are ready on the City of Espoo’s and Business Espoo’s websites.
The application must be submitted to the municipality in which the business is registered. The support is granted for covering sole entrepreneurs’ business expenses.
Who can apply for the support?
All sole entrepreneurs registered in Finland whose primary occupation is their business can apply for the support. This is irrespective of their business form and how they finance themselves. A sole entrepreneur is defined as an entrepreneur or self-employed person who does not employ anyone, and it includes freelancers.
Terms and conditions of the support
To become eligible for the support, a sole entrepreneur must demonstrate a significantly worsened financial situation and drop in turnover due to coronavirus since 31 December 2019. The support is granted on a discretionary basis. The support cannot be granted if the business was in financial difficulties before the coronavirus crisis or has tax debts.
The support can be granted to cover costs arising between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020. The support is for a fixed term and can only be applied for once until 30 September 2020.
Sole entrepreneurs can apply for the support alongside the enhanced unemployment benefit, which is to become available to entrepreneurs soon. If the EUR 2,000 is applied for to cover fixed expenses, it will have no effect on the unemployment benefits. However, if the support is used to cover the entrepreneur’s pay or other remuneration that is considered to be earned income for work, it will have an effect on the amount of unemployment benefit.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s bulletin (in Finnish): Yksinyrittäjille 2000 euron toimintatuki koronavirustilanteessa – haku avautuu mahdollisimman pian.
The Finnish Government website’s Businesses section of frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.
Be sure to also read the instructions compiled by Suomen Yrittäjät on the Kaikki koronasta page (in Finnish).