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Draft bill out for comments: Support to SMEs to mitigate adverse effects of Brexit

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 21.4.2022 15.26 | Published in English on 22.4.2022 at 9.23
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The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment requests comments on the draft legislative proposal that would implement the EU’s Brexit adjustment reserve. Companies affected negatively by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would be supported from the reserve. The Act is necessary for the utilisation of the funding reserved for Finland.

The Act would lay down provisions on the national responsible authorities and the model for providing support through the adjustment reserve. The Brexit adjustment reserve could be used for business development aid in mainland Finland, which is why it would be necessary to temporarily amend the Act on Discretionary Government Grants for the Development of Business Operations in 2021–2028 and to make technical amendments to certain other acts.

Brexit adjustment reserve would be channelled to SMEs in the form of business development aid through ELY centres

According to the draft proposal, aid from the reserve would be channelled to small and medium-sized enterprises in the form of business development aid. Business development aid is a discretionary government grant that can be granted for innovative development measures and investments related to growth or internationalisation. The ELY centres mainly award these grants in the form of EU co-financed funding, either as part of the EU’s Regional and Structural Policy Programme or as part of other EU-funded activities, such as the sustainable growth Programme for Finland funded from the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

Up to a maximum of EUR 23.2 million has been provisionally reserved for Finland. However, according to a preliminary estimate, most of this sum would not be used because the adverse impact on Finnish SMEs caused by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland has not been significant.

The Government proposal to be submitted in autumn 2022

The draft proposal is included in the 2023 budget proposal and will be discussed alongside the budget process.  The proposed acts are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2023. The Act on temporary amendments to the Act on Discretionary Government Grants for the Development of Business Operations in 2021-2028 would apply until 1 January 2027.

Comments on the draft government proposal are to be submitted no later than 25 May 2022 electronically on the Lausuntopalvelu.fi website. Due to the later completion of the Swedish translation, the deadline for issuing comments in Swedish will be announced separately. The request for comments in Swedish is to be published on the Lausuntopalvelu.fi website in week 20.

Inquiries:
Petri Haapalainen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 295 064 922
Eliisa Hujala, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 295 064 949

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