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

Factsheet for measure FI-2020-14/448 Updated – measures in Finland

ELY centres' business development aid to micro companies

ELY-keskusten yritysten kehittämisrahoitus enintään viisi henkilöä työllistäville yrityksille

Country Finland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 31 March 2020 – 08 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Amanda Kinnunen (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 10 April 2020 (updated 06 October 2020)

Background information

Regional ELY Centers (Centers for Economic Development, Transport and Environment) provide various types of business services (e.g. business development aid, business environment development aid, regional transport subsidies and business development services) for Finnish companies. Companies can apply to these services as usual.

In addition to the regular forms of business services, ELY Centers now grant business development aid for small companies affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. As part of its first supplementary budget, the Government increased ELY Centers grant authorisations for business development projects by €50 million.

Content of measure

Business development aid granted by ELY Centers is available for companies that:

  1. employ maximum 5 people at the time of applying. (Development aid for companies employing over five is available through Business Finland. Solo-self-employed are not eligible since a separate financing model is under development.)
  2. active in sectors other than agriculture, forestry, fisheries and agricultural products processing industry (there will be a separate financing model for these sectors)
  3. experience market and production disturbances due to the outbreak of COVID-19
  4. seek to renew and strengthen their expertise

Business development aid can be granted either for conducting a situation analysis or carrying out development measures.

Aid granted for conducting a situation analysis covers up to 80% of the costs with a maximum amount of €10,000. Aid granted for carrying out development measures covers up to 80% of the costs with a maximum amount of €100,000.


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

06 July 2020

As of 8 June 2020, this form of business development aid has been discontinued. It has been replaced by an instrument that provides support for business costs. This new instrument is not administrated by ELY Centres.

Use of measure

As of 28 August 2020, approximately 21,000 companies had been granted development aid. Approximately 9,000 applications had been rejected.

In total €295 million has been granted to the companies. The average amount granted for conducting a situation analysis was around €6,000. The average amount granted for carrying out development measures was around €33,000.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to 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


There is no information regarding whether and to what extent the social partners have been involved in planning out this measure.

Views and reactions

No information available.


  • 20 March 2020: Social partners’ proposals to help businesses in the corona crisis (
  • 02 April 2020: ELY Centres' funding for companies in the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus (
  • 02 April 2020: Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus and business financing (
  • 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), ELY centres' business development aid to micro companies , measure FI-2020-14/448 (measures in Finland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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