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Applications for restaurant support open today — here are the conditions

The applications for the subsidy that restaurants have been waiting for open today. Business owners can use a service on the website of the KEHA Centre, the development and administration centre of the ELY Centres and TE services, to check whether they will receive group payment or not.

The KEHA Centre, the ELY Centres’ and TE services’ development and administration centre, are responsible for paying the subsidy. Applications open today, 5 June.

Some businesses will get support through “group payment”, meaning they will not need to apply for the subsidy individually. The amount of the compensation is calculated on the basis of the information that the Tax Administration holds. Businesses that cannot be included in group payment will have to apply separately for compensation.

Companies receiving group payment will receive the compensation in two instalments. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy says that the first instalment will be paid “as soon as possible”. Efforts will be made to pay the final instalment by the end of June.

Other subsidies received by the business will not affect the amount of the compensation. The compatibility of various subsidies will be assessed separately.

Some businesses will receive the compensation by applying for it, as is the case for other subsidies related to coronavirus, such as those from Business Finland and the ELY Centres. The KEHA Centre will process the application and approve the compensation. The KEHA Centre will announce when applications open.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy’s guidelines say that a business owner must include the following details in an application: normal business identification details, VAT-liable sales for January, February and April 2020, as well as information on other applications for coronavirus subsidies.

How will business owners know if their businesses are included in group payment?

The KEHA Centre’s website will have a service which each business owner can use to check whether his or her business is included in group payment or not. The service will use each business’s ID (Y-tunnus).

€1,000 subsidy per employee

The restaurant subsidy model contains two parts. The first part supports companies as employers and the second part is used to compensate restaurants for limitations to their operations and help them meet their fixed overheads.

The amount of the compensation depends on how much the business’s sales have declined this April compared to April 2019, or to January–April 2019. The most advantageous comparison period for the business is chosen automatically. The compensation is equal to no more than 15% of a restaurant’s drop in sales, and no more than €500,000.

The amount of the employment subsidy is €1,000 per employee. A business may receive the support for no more than the number of employees it employed full-time in February 2020. Temp and subcontracted workers are included in this total.

The subsidy is paid for employees to whom the business pays a total of €2,500 for the period 1 June–31 August 2020. For temp and subcontracted workers, the monetary limit of the sum paid to the service provider is €4,500 per worker. For the purposes of the subsidy, how the worker is hired by the restaurant is irrelevant.

The employment subsidy is not used to subsidize wages of employees for whom other public support has been paid. Restaurant owners must apply for this compensation. The application is approved as soon as the KEHA Centre has made its decision about the subsidy.

How and when can a restaurant or catering business apply for and receive employment subsidy?

To receive employment subsidy, a business must fill out an electronic application. The application forms and instructions will be available after the relevant Act comes into force, both on Suomi.fi and the KEHA Centre website. Applications must be made by 31 August 2020. The KEHA Centre says efforts will be made to process applications as quickly as possible, and that subsidies will be paid as soon as positive decisions are made. Processing times will depend on when applications are received for different compensation periods.

Sign up for the information session

For what purposes can a restaurant receive the support and compensation? How much support and compensation can a business owner receive? What does a business owner need to do? These and other questions will be answered in an information session, which is free and open to all. Register here (in Finnish).

Original Finnish article updated on Thursday 4 June at 19:00: Added: new guidelines from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the paragraph “How and when can a restaurant or catering business apply for and receive employment subsidy?”, and information about how business owners know whether they are part of group payment.

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toimitus (at) yrittajat.fi