A new Act on discretionary government grants to develop business operations to enter into force in November
The Government has issued a decree according to which the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers to Develop Business Operations in 2021–2028 will enter into force on 1 November 2021. The grant programmes under the Act will be used for implementing the EU’s regional and structural policy programmes in the programme period 2021–2027 and for nationally funded grants.
The President of the Republic approved the Act on 13 August 2021, and the decree issued now only lays down the date when the Act will enter into force. The Act will enter into force at the same time as the new programming period for regional and structural policy in 2021–2027 begins in Finland.
Two forms of support: business development aid and support for improving companies’ operating environment
The Act applies to two forms of support granted by the ELY Centres: business development aid and support for improving companies’ operating environment.
Business development aid is granted for innovative development measures and investments related to growth or internationalisation. Support for improving companies’ operating environment may be granted to non-profit public and private organisations and foundations for projects that improve the operating environment and development conditions of companies.
Grants will be funded from appropriations from the State budget and from European Union funds, in particular from the European Regional Development Fund and the Just Transition Fund. The allocation of grants will take into account the objectives of EU and national regional and structural policies as well as competitive aspects. Key priorities for the programming period 2021‒2027 are the promotion of carbon neutrality, energy and material efficiency and digitalisation.
Changes to eligible sectors and conditions on granting aid
The main elements of regulation will remain unchanged. The scope of eligibility for business development aid will change so that only primary production in agriculture, fisheries and forestry would be excluded from it. For example, companies in the fish processing sector or those that serve the forestry sector will no longer be excluded from the scope of the aid.
Consideration for environmental aspects has been added to the conditions for receiving business development aid. These may include projects that promote the objectives of regional and structural policy programmes, such as decarbonisation or energy and material efficiency, or that have other positive effects on the environment.
Emmi Äijälä, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 29 504 7216
Mikko Ojala, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 3506