New services related to the pandemic offered by Business Espoo

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2020-12-07 12:03

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major challenges for businesses. The experts of Business Espoo are here to help you. We can tell you about opportunities to get support and help you find solutions. If necessary, we can refer you to the legal and financial experts in our network. For now, Business Espoo serves entrepreneurs and companies remotely and by phone. Our chatbot Bertta serves you on our website. Bertta can answer companies’ general-level questions about matters such as internationalisation, training and recruitments.

Book an remote appointment with the business advisor of your choice for personal brainstorming and advice 

You can book an hour-long remote appointment with the business advisor of your choice for personal brainstorming and advice. We can tell you about different sources of support, help you find information and work on solutions. Use our handy online booking system to book an appointment, and we will email you a link to a meeting. Alternatively, we can also talk with you on the phone. Book an appointment with a business expert

The service is provided by EnterpriseEspoo which is part of the Business Espoo network. The service is free of charge and confidential. 

Information packages for entrepreneurs and businesses

Read the comprehensive “everything an entrepreneur needs to know about the coronavirus” website of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. We particularly recommend the questions and answers section as a reliable source of information on employment relationships, agreements and finances affected by this exceptional situation. The Federation of Finnish Enterprises regularly organises training and coronavirus information events. You can watch the webinars held so far on the Federation’s website in Finnish. 

The website of the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, which is part of our network, also contains comprehensive information for entrepreneurs and companies to help them cope with the pandemic. The information package includes important information, recommendations and regulations for employers, advice on economics and financing, an exit strategy, position papers and research results from surveys conducted by Chambers of Commerce to their member companies on the current situation and future expectations of companies. Link to the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce’s information page on coronavirus for companies.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has compiled on its website questions and answers on what companies must take into account about business funding. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has also published more detailed instructions on where companies of different sizes can apply for funding during the coronavirus pandemic. See the funding sources and instructions for how to proceed on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment website.

Follow the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s current issues page.

Recovery plan workbook to support entrepreneurs

We have prepared a recovery plan workbook, which you can download in PDF format from the EnterpriseEspoo website (in Finnish). With the help of the workbook, you can steer your business into new growth after a crisis. You will learn, among other things, to identify changed needs in the market, to productise and utilise your own expertise and other resources in a new way, to prepare for financial situations in different scenarios and to improve cash management. You can also use the cash flow calculation template.

Lay-off 

The employer may lay an employee off on two different grounds:

  • the employer has economic or production-related grounds for terminating the employment contract. if the amount of work has decreased substantially and permanently and no other work or training can be offered to the employee, the employer may temporarily lay off the employee.
  • the employer's ability to offer work has been reduced temporarily (for a maximum of 90 days). The requirement for a lay-off is that the employer cannot offer the employee other work or training that would meet the employer's needs.

The employer may lay off a fixed-term employee only if they are a substitute for a permanent employee and the employer would have the right to lay off the employee in question. 

The employer and the employee may only agree on a lay-off for a fixed period and on the basis of the employer's activities and financial status.
If you are an employer within the scope of the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings, you must notify your TE Office of your cooperation negotiations. This notification must be made no later than the beginning of the procedure.

For more information, please visit the TE Services website. 

The maximum duration of the start-up grant has been temporarily extended to a total of up to 18 months. For more information, please visit the TE Services website.

The right of entrepreneurs to claim labour market support will continue until the end of June 2021. The Government decided on the matter on 27 January 2021 and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will start preparing the legislative amendment immediately. Read more.

The third application round for business cost support begins on 27 April 2021 

Companies in all sectors can apply for business cost support, some without further justification. Business cost support is intended for companies whose turnover has decreased by more than 30% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22 April 2021, the Government issued a decree on the sectors that can apply for support without providing further justification. If a company does not operate in one of the sectors in the decree, it must justify the need for support and provide an account of the loss of turnover due to COVID-19.

The decree includes the sectors where turnover has fallen by at least 10% between 1 November 2020 and 28 February 2021, compared with the corresponding period in 2019–2020. The decrease in companies’ turnover will also be calculated based on these reference periods.

The State Treasury will accept applications for the third round of business cost support from Tuesday 27 April 2021. The deadline for applications is 23 June 2021.

Read more. 
Questions and answers on business cost support and compensation meant for restaurants and other businesses ordered to close.

Opportunities for start-ups through Launchpad

Enter Espoo helps start-ups, investors and large companies find each other – now with new means. For the time being, the encounters occur through online meetings between pre-selected start-ups and large companies. Events are organised throughout the year, so it is worth creating a company profile in the Launchpad online service in order to receive targeted information from Enter Espoo on other actors and cooperation opportunities, events, meetings, innovation competitions and internationalisation trips. The service is free of charge and also enables direct contact between the different actors. Register your company with Launchpad.

Employee recruitment and skills development

Does your company have work to do, but lacks people to do it? Sometimes there comes a time when there is no longer enough work for everyone or the work changes its shape. Even in these changing situations, we can find a solution together. 

During the coronavirus crisis, the importance of developing companies’ skills has been significantly highlighted. Omnia can help you get the right skills where they are needed. For example, you can recruit students as future professionals, acquire talent through labour market training or apprenticeships, update the skills of your staff in changing situations or support the relocation of your staff.

Check out Omnia’s training at kauppa.omnia.fi or ask for more information by e-mail at yrityspalvelut@omnia.fi. Also check out the training offered by the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce

Competence for the needs of the company through apprenticeship

Watch and listen to BE Studio (in Finnish) to learn how skills can be developed through apprenticeship training. The ins and outs of apprenticeship training are explained by BE Studio’s expert guest, Frida Wickholm-Jansson, Career Advisor at Omnia. BE Studio is hosted by Director Saija Äikäs from the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce.


Watch BE Studio on the Business Espoo YouTube channel

Importance and future of tourism

According to the latest tourism income and employment survey, Espoo’s direct tourism income in 2018 was EUR 170 million. According to forecasts, there will be a reduction of up to 60–70% this year. “The regional economic impact of tourism has been growing exponentially in recent years. Miikka Valo of Visit Espoo.

Watch BE Studio (in Finnish) to see Miikka Valo and Tiina Backman of Visit Espoo discuss the importance and trends of tourism together with Harri Paananen, Head of Economic Development of Espoo.


Watch BE Studio on the Business Espoo YouTube channel.

Visit Espoo has compiled useful tourism tips and information on its website:

Visit Espoo also organises virtual meeting tours at Espoo’s meeting venues. If you are interested in participating in the tours, request an invitation by e-mail at visit@espoo.fi.

EEN services for the pandemic situation

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) provides expertise and internationalisation services for SMEs in more than 60 countries. The network offers a wide range of services, ranging from EU advice to support for international technology transfer. The activities are co-financed by the European Commission (COSME programme).

Examples of EEN services for the pandemic situation:

Business Espoo's BE Studio 

BE Studio is a webcast-format agile production implemented by Business Espoo. The episodes address topical business and entrepreneurial themes and highlight service solutions that help Espoo entrepreneurs and companies to succeed. BE Studio episodes can be found on the Business Espoo YouTube channel

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The City of Espoo publishes and constantly updates information on the coronavirus epidemic on its website: espoo.fi/coronavirus