Helsinki-based sole entrepreneurs can now apply for operating support in the coronavirus situation

Apr 20, 2020

As of today, 20 April, the City of Helsinki is taking applications for operating support for financial losses caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Helsinki grants a non-recurring operating support of 2,000 euros to sole entrepreneurs for 16 March – 31 August 2020. The financing for the operating support comes from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The support can also be applied for retrospectively.

The objective of the coronavirus support for sole entrepreneurs is to help bring the sole entrepreneur’s operation to a more sustainable basis during and after the epidemic. The support that can now be applied for is intended to cover costs arising from the entrepreneur’s business activities. The support is valid only for managing with the acute liquidity crisis caused by the epidemic.

The support can be granted to a full-time entrepreneur who is engaged in economic activity in Finland alone, but the legal form of activity or source of financing is irrelevant. A sole entrepreneur is an entrepreneur or self-employed worker, who has no employees on payroll. This includes freelance entrepreneurs.

Prerequisites for application of support

  • The support is intended for full-time sole entrepreneurs, regardless of the legal form of the company.
  • The prerequisites are met, if you are insured under the self-employed persons’ pension insurance (YEL) or you have annual entrepreneurial income or invoicing of at least 20,000 euros. If you have started the business activities less than 6 months ago, then you have to prove that the revenue stream, if uninterrupted, would have accrued invoicing of 20,000 euros in a time period of 12 months.
  • A sole entrepreneur cannot have employees on payroll when applying for support. If you had employees before 16 March 2020, but have dismissed them (not laid them off), you are entitled to the support. If the company has other people with YEL-insurance, who are de facto working at the company, then you can apply for support from the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
  • The financial situation and turnover of your business activities have deteriorated significantly after 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Significantly means that the turnover has dropped by more than 30 per cent, if it has remained stable during the previous 12-month period.
  • The business activities have been profitable based on the 2019 financial statements or the tax return. If you have tax debts, then you must have a plan in place for the repayment of the debt, which has been approved by the Tax Administration. The sole entrepreneur’s report of an exceptional situation in 2019 can be taken into consideration in the evaluation of profitable activities.
  • Your business activities must possess the potential to become profitable after the coronavirus epidemic. You must also tell the purposes of use of the support money. The support cannot be used for paying the entrepreneur’s salary, but it must be used, for example, for rent, acquisitions or other equivalent expenses. The business activities must also continue after the coronavirus epidemic.

Other considerations

Sole entrepreneur support is entrepreneur-specific. If the sole entrepreneur has several companies, in which they work alone, then support is granted to the company, which is the entrepreneur’s main occupation. The operating support for sole entrepreneurs can also be applied for only in the entrepreneurs home municipality (according to the YTJ Business Information System)

The support for sole entrepreneurs can be applied in parallel with the unemployment benefit expanded to entrepreneurs. The 2,000-euro support for fixed expenses does not affect the unemployment benefit.

The municipalities report to the Tax Administration the support that they grant to sole entrepreneurs.

The support applicant must acknowledge that when the municipality approves the application, it creates an agreement between the applicant and the municipality, as referred to in Section 7 (3) in the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers. The recipient of the support must, based on the agreement, pay back excess support or support that they have received erroneously or unfoundedly. In cases of misappropriation, the municipality may demand that granted support is repaid. If necessary, the recipient of the support commits to provide the granter with the necessary information to ensure that the support has not been applied for in contravention of the conditions for the support.

The municipality that has granted the support and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy have the right to retrospectively inspect the purposes for which the support has been used.

Apply for support here

You can apply for the sole entrepreneur’s operating support in Helsinki through the asiointi.hel.fi service. In the service, you can also read the instructions. You can access the service here.

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