The Financial Shield of the Polish Development Fund (PFR) for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is already operational
The Financial Shield of the Polish Development Fund (PFR) is a solution aimed at supporting enterprises that have suffered losses as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
On 27 April 2020, the European Commission agreed to launch the Financial Shield programme for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Selected banks that have joined the programme are already accepting applications.
Funding for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises under the shield is to take the form of partially non-repayable subsidies.
Financial shield for micro-enterprises (1 to 9 employees):
- Subsidies up to a maximum of PLN 324,000 for 3 years
- non-repayable funds up to 75% of the subsidy after 12 months - provided that the business continues and employment levels are maintained
- the turnover or balance sheet total must not exceed EUR 2 million
Financial shield for small and medium-sized enterprises (10 to 250 employees):
- subsidy up to a maximum amount of PLN 3.5 million for 3 years
- non-refundable funds up to 75% of the subsidy after 12 months - provided that the business continues to operate and employment levels are maintained and a loss on sales is recorded
- the annual turnover must not exceed 50 million euro or the balance sheet total must not exceed 43 million euro
The application for assistance is made entirely through the online banking channels of enterprises and the amount of the subsidy will be calculated automatically on the basis of data entered by the entrepreneurs on the number of employees in full-time equivalents and turnover.
- The amount of the subsidy for microenterprises is calculated as the product of the employees and the so-called base amount, the amount of which depends on the drop in revenue caused by the epidemic,
- The amount of the subsidy for small and medium-sized enterprises is calculated as a percentage of revenue of 0, 4, 6 or 8% depending on its decline due to the epidemic.
After accepting the conditional agreement to receive the subsidy generated by the system by the entrepreneur, it is sent to the National Clearing House (KIR), from which data concerning the agreement are transferred to the PFR and are subject to verification in the databases of the Social Insurance Institution, tax administration and registries. If the data are correct, the bank through which the application was submitted receives feedback on the subsidy.
The PFR may issue three subsidy decisions:
- approving the data from the application, which means the transfer of a subsidy calculated automatically in the application process;
- corrected, issued when the data provided are found to be inconsistent with the data obtained by the PFR during the verification process (e.g. the amount of employment in full-time equivalents given by the entrepreneur);
- negative, which means that the application did not pass the verification due to not meeting the conditions for using the support.
In the case of a positive decision, the amount of the subsidy goes from PFR to the bank, and is paid to the entrepreneur's account.
The banks that have joined the programme at the present time are: Santander, Alior Bank, BPS Group, Millenium Bank, Bank Pekao, Bank Pocztowy, BNP Paribas, BOS Bank Ochrony Środowiska, Citihandlowy, Credit Agricole, Getin Noble, Idea Bank, ING, mBank, nest Bank, PKO Bank Polski and SGB Banki Spółdzielcze.
The Financial Shield for large companies (over 250 employees) will be individual in nature - it will include debt financing and capital commitment. Its launch has not yet been approved by the European Commission, but the PFR is already accepting initial requests from large companies.
The funds obtained by entrepreneurs under the subsidy will be able to be used to cover operating costs, to pay off loans or to settle accounts with related entities, excluding payments to the owner or entities related to the owner.
One of the conditions for granting the subsidy is to record a decrease in economic turnover of at least 25% in any month after 1 February 2020 compared to the previous month or the same month of the previous year due to the disturbance of the economy as a result of COVID-19. Moreover, the entrepreneur cannot be bankrupt, liquidated or restructured. He may not be in arrears with payments of taxes, contributions, and should be a Polish tax resident and conduct business at least from 31 December 2019.