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Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Centre) attended a joint meeting of the Centre’s working committees and ministerial group in Nokia, Pirkanmaa, on 4 August 2020. (Kalle Parkkinen – Lehtikuva)

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MINISTER OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS Mika Lintilä (Centre) has floated the possibility of extending the financial support offered to businesses to compensate for the costs and loss of revenue inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The so-called business cost support was adopted as the primary means to help businesses in place of development subsidies granted by Business Finland and ELY Centres in July.

“If the coronavirus situation takes a turn for the worse and places the same kind of economic pressure on businesses as it did last spring, I’m prepared to propose that the support be re-activated. This is my message to businesses that are concerned about their outlook for the autumn,” underlined Lintilä.

The support is presently set to be available until the end of August.

Lintilä on Tuesday said the government will make decisions on its future based on the epidemiological situation and economic development, adding that the key will be to make sure it has the readiness to take swift action if necessary.

“We were criticised in the spring for not having the model in use immediately. It was simply because we didn’t have the necessary legislation and technical tools. This is the result of painstaking work. The starting point is that the model could be put to use quickly with supplementary decrees,” he said.

He estimated that discussion about re-activating the support scheme is relevant now because it fundamentally a question of preparedness and appeasing the concerns of businesses.

“Troubling messages of a second wave are coming from around the world, and we’ll try to minimise all possible future risks,” he outlined.

The Finnish government has set aside a total of 300 million euros for businesses that have recorded a drop of at least 30 per cent in net sales from the reference period. The support is also conditional on the sector as a whole recording a decrease of at least 10 per cent in net sales.

Lintilä declined to speculate on how much should be set aside for the possible second round of applications.

“We’ll evaluate how well the criteria have served us. I’m sure the amount of revenue is something we’ll think about. The goal is to help businesses to stay afloat as well as possible,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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