Finnish Parliament has approved a government proposal to extend the period of validity of the temporary legislative amendment on awarding startup grants (starttiraha, in Finnish). The President of the Republic is to approve the amendment on 26 June 2020 and it will enter into force on 1 July 2020.
The maximum duration of startup funding has been temporarily extended from 12 to 18 months as of 1 May 2020.
The legislative amendment is intended to ensure that entrepreneurs who receive seed funds can start and establish business operations despite the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the extension to the maximum duration of startup funding will remain in force until the end of 2021. Startup funding can thus be granted for a maximum of 18 months if the funding period started before the end of 2020.
The period of validity of the temporary amendment to the Decree on the payment of startup grants will also be extended.
Startup funding may be paid until 31 December 2020 for the days when the business owner is working in their business and for the days when the operations have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, if the recipients would be able to do business on certain days of the week but not full-time due to the epidemic, the grants will also be paid for the days when the business owner is not working.
Measures to face the pandemic
The amendments are part of the measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are based on a proposal by the labour market confederations to extend the validity of the temporary amendments to labour legislation and unemployment security legislation.
The Employment and Economic Development Office may award startup grants by virtue of the Act on Public Employment and Business Service to a person starting business activities as a primary source of income.
The purpose of the startup grant is to secure the entrepreneur’s income for the period of time required to get the business up and running.