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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 PL-2020-14/805 – measures in Poland

Financial shield: Small and medium enterprises

Tarcza finansowa: małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 April 2020 – 31 July 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound
Case created 30 April 2020 (updated 07 September 2020)

Background information

In mid-April the parliament passed into legislation another set of measures aiming to help enterprises go through the unfolding economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Act amending the Act on the System of Development Institutions facilitate a public support programme commonly referred to as the Financial Shield, operated by the Polish Development Fund (Polski Fundusz Rozwoju).

The programme is divided into specific sub-sets of measures targeting

  1. micro,
  2. small and medium firms and
  3. large firms.

Ustawa z dnia 4 lipca 2019 r. o systemie instytucji rozwoju („Ustawa o SIR”), znowelizowana ustawą z dnia 31 marca 2020 r. o zmianie ustawy o systemie instytucji rozwoju.

Content of measure

The programme relies on a scheme of advanced payables offered to small and medium firms (10 to 249 employees) with annual turnover of no more than €50 million (or balance sheet total not higher than €43 million).

Eligible are the enterprises which:

  • experienced decrease in sales by at least 25% experienced on a month-to-month basis after 1 February 2020 (or to the same month of the preceding year) due to COVID-19 outbreak;
  • are not in administration or liquidation procedure; had tax residency in Poland and paid taxes for two previous fiscal years; held operations on 31 December 2019;
  • had all social securities duly paid as of 31 December 2019.

The scale of support: * total allocation of PLN and up to PLN 3.5 million per beneficiary for three years (up to 75% of the amount loaned can be annulated after 12 months).

Use of measure

Some 670,000 enterprises altogether (both micro and small and medium) can be possibly covered, according to the Polish Development Fund (Polski Fundusz Rozwoju, PFR), a public agency responibel for administration of the Financial Shield.

As of mid-July, it is reported by PFR that some PLN 40 billion (approximately €9 billion) have been released to beneficiaries from the target group (SMEs). Altogether 321,000 enterprises (both micro and small and medium), employing about 3 million persons have received support.

No applications have been accepted after 31 July.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


BCC issued an opinion critical of the measures directed at enterprises of all sizes, assessing it as insufficient.

Views and reactions

Social partners not involved, employer organisations critical of measures as insufficient.


  • 25 March 2020: Business Centre Club przedstawił rządowi najpilniejsze postulaty przedsiębiorców do Tarczy Antykryzysowej (
  • 31 March 2020: The Act of 31 March 2020 amending the Act on the System of Development Institutions (


Eurofound (2020), Financial shield: Small and medium enterprises, case PL-2020-14/805 (measures in Poland), 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.