The City of Espoo supports companies and organisations in overcoming the prolonged pandemic

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2021-04-23 9:02

Many companies and organisations are in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is beneficial for companies, organisations and the city that local operators are viable and able to grow once the coronavirus situation improves. On 6 April 2020, the City Board decided on measures to support Espoo-based companies and organisations and help them overcome the acute coronavirus situation. These measures were planned for 2020, but many of them are still relevant because of the prolonged pandemic and the related restrictions and other uncertainties.

The City Board has now decided on 33 measures that include business support, measures related to the city’s purchases, invoicing arrangements and contracts as well as support provided to cultural and sports operators. Read more about the City Board’s decision (in Finnish).

Purchases and invoicing arrangements

  • Whenever necessary, we try to pay purchase invoices before their due date and extend the payment period for our sales invoices.
  • We can negotiate such changes to contractual obligations that are necessary to ensure the continuity of business activities.

Support for cultural operators

  • We support cultural operators in line with the decisions made by the Culture Committee on 30 March 2021 and will not claim grants back if an operator has to make changes to their activities due to the pandemic.
  • After the overall picture has become clearer, a proposal will be submitted to the Culture Committee and the City Board regarding the need for financial support for communities and professionals in the fields of art and culture.

Support for sports clubs

  • We will support the activities of sports clubs with an additional amount of EUR 750,000.
  • The amount of marketing support for sports clubs will be increased by EUR 100,000 to reduce the challenges faced by top-level sports clubs due to the pandemic and to prevent the acute threat of bankruptcy.
  • We will directly inform Espoo-based sports clubs of grants and the related criteria.

External tenants of city premises

  • We will grant a temporary exemption from the obligation to pay rent for premises to those companies and organisations whose activities are entirely prevented by the prolonged coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closure of city premises. Exemptions from payment of rent are granted automatically, and companies do not have to contact the city.
  • We may, upon application and based on our discretion, temporarily grant a partial exemption from payment of rent to those operators whose activities have been significantly restricted, but not fully prevented, by the restrictions.
  • We can postpone the due date for the rents we collect from companies and organisations between April and July 2021 until 31 August 2021 if the company or organisation requests this from the city. In these cases, there will be no interest for late payment. We will agree on an individual schedule for the payment of postponed rents and a maximum payment period of 24 months. The extension of payment periods does not apply to amounts for which debt collection measures have already started.
  • Further information about rents will be provided later at espoo.fi.

Permit practices

  • In the summer of 2020, the number of customers allowed inside restaurants and cafés was restricted. In order to alleviate the impacts, the city introduced practices that made it easier for these businesses to extend their outdoor serving areas. A similar model will also be introduced for the summer season of 2021 if national and regional policies so permit. If a business follows the instructions separately issued by the city, it will not need a separate permit from the Building Control Department. Instead, the restaurant or café can agree on the extension of its outdoor serving area with the Building Sites Unit. If the area is only extended to ensure safe distances, no additional fee will be charged for it.
  • As we get a clearer picture of the situation regarding restrictions on gatherings in the spring, summer and autumn months, a proposal will be prepared for the City Board on utilising outdoor areas and event terraces to revitalise event and cultural activities in Espoo.

The Business Espoo network supports entrepreneurs and businesses in crisis and growth

The Business Espoo network, formed by seven organisations, supports local entrepreneurs in tackling the challenges related to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic. Business Espoo offers information on change security services and support opportunities.

Last year, the support for sole entrepreneurs was granted by municipalities. This year, for the third application round, the support for sole entrepreneurs will be granted by the State Treasury. The experts from Business Espoo offer guidance to customers on matters related to this form of support.

Read more about Business Espoo's services related to the pandemic.

You can contact us by phone or by email. 

Tel. 050 513 0321

info@businessespoo.fi

State’s support measures aimed at companies

The state grants companies business cost support. The support is compensation for the company’s inflexible costs and payroll costs during the coronavirus pandemic. There have already been two application rounds for business cost support. The average support granted was EUR 25.000. The third application round will take place from 27 April to 23 June 2021, and you can apply for support for the period of 1 November 2020 to 28 February 2021. The State Treasury is also responsible for granting support to sole entrepreneurs. Some changes have been made for the third application round, which makes it possible to grant support more flexibly, especially to sole entrepreneurs and small enterprises.

The right of entrepreneurs to receive labour market subsidy due to the coronavirus pandemic will remain in force until the end of June 2021.