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Finland: Parliament to raise support for coronavirus-hit businesses from €200m to €1bn

Christian Fernsby ▼ | March 28, 2020
The Finance Committee of the Parliament in Finland has proposed that the supplementary budget drafted by the government to help businesses to deal with disruptions caused by the coronavirus epidemic be beefed up substantially.
Johannes Koskinen
Finance Committee   Johannes Koskinen
The committee announced yesterday it is proposing that the appropriation for direct business subsidies be increased from 200 million to 1,000 million euros.

Topics: Finland coronavirus

Around 70 per cent of the subsidies are to be disbursed by Business Finland and 30 per cent by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).

Johannes Koskinen (SDP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, stated in the Parliament House on Thursday that the recent influx of applications indicates that businesses are in dire need of financial support due to the extraordinary circumstances.

“There’s evidence that the need is urgent,” he highlighted. “Applications have come in for 368 million euros in subsidies in only a couple of days, by 25 March. And the need for subsidies is only set to increase, as the disruptions caused by the new coronavirus start affecting a broader range of industries.”

The subsidies are no free lunch, he underscored.

“They’re conditional […] in the sense that they’re based on businesses keeping their employees at work, [keeping] their wage costs, other comparable personnel-related costs and all sorts of fixed costs businesses may have,” told Koskinen.