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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case FI-2020-13/269 Updated – measures in Finland

Business Finland's new direct business subsidies for SMEs and midcap companies

Business Finlandin uudet rahoituspalvelut pk- ja midcap-yrityksille

Country Finland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 March 2020 – 08 July 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Amanda Kinnunen (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Case created 03 April 2020 (updated 04 January 2021)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

Business Finland has launched two new financial services owing to the coronavirus outbreak. They are intended for SMEs in Finland that employ 6–250 people and for midcaps that may employ more than 250 people but have an annual turnover of less than € 300 million.

In March 2020, the Government allocated €700 million of its 2020 supplementary budget for grants provided by Business Finland. Business Finland has established two new financial services owning to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Business Finland is a state-owned organisation that funds companies and research groups work for research, development and innovation activities.

Content of measure

Business Finland's grants are intended for Finnish-based SME's (6-250 employees) and midcaps (companies that have an annual turnover of less than €300 million but may employ more than 250). Companies from the following sectors can apply for the grant: tourist, creative and performing industry and all sector where subcontracting chains either have been affected or will be negatively affected by COVID-19.

Funding can be granted for two types of projects: feasibility studies or development projects. . A company that wants to do a feasibility study that investigates new businesses and ways to organise production can apply for a preliminary fund. The grant covers 80% of the project's total costs and the maximum amount is €10,000. Development funding has a maximum limit of €100,000 and it also covers 80% of the project costs. Development funding is intended for companies to create new product-or production related solutions.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

06 July 2020

As of 8 June 2020, the COVID-19 related business development aid granted by Business Finland has been discontinued. It has been replaced by a new instrument that grants financial support for business costs.

Use of measure

As of 26 August 2020, the number of applications was approximately 29,000. The number of companies that had received financing from Business Finland was approximately 19,000.

In total €912 million has been granted for companies and €617 million has been already paid out.

The sector that received most financing was wholesale and retail trade (approximately €150 million). This was followed by construction ( €93 million) and the programming and gaming industry ( €78 million).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public support service providers
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No information available.

Views and reactions

No information available.


  • 26 February 2020: Government increases business financing due to COVID-19 and provides EUR 1 billion in direct subsidies (
  • 27 March 2020: Funding for Business Development in Disruptive Circumstances (
  • 01 June 2020: Legislative proposal regarding support for business costs to Parliament this week, applications for coronavirus-related support provided by Business Finland and ELY Centres accepted until 8 June (
  • 01 September 2020: COVID-19 update (Korona tilannekuva) (


Eurofound (2020), Business Finland's new direct business subsidies for SMEs and midcap companies, case FI-2020-13/269 (measures in Finland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.