Below we provide some basic information on what is called the "Financial Shield", i.e. another support scheme announced by the Polish authorities to operate as part of the Anti-Crisis Shield and help businesses deal with the adverse economic impact of the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic.

The fundamental objective of the Financial Shield, which is to be coordinated and managed by the Polish Development Fund PFR, is to protect the labour market and ensure liquidity for firms during the serious economic turbulence caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

The assistance measures offered as part of the Financial Scheme are supposed to be available to:

  • microenterprises with at least one employee,
  • small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs),
  • large enterprises.

 

The extent and types of support that can be obtained thanks to the Financial Shield depend on the beneficiary's size and, especially for large enterprises, on its economic situation and related needs.

The support for microenterprises may even exceed PLN 320,000, with the money available in the form of a subsidy as much as 75% of which can be made non-refundable (forgiven).

The maximum subsidy for SMEs should reach as much as PLN 3.5 million per enterprise, again with the option of forgiving up to even 75% of the support debt.

For large enterprises, the Financial Shield offers assistance by way of loan or equity instruments up to the maximum of even PLN 1 billion, depending on the instrument. In addition, large enterprises will be allowed to apply for support loans and this debt can be partially forgiven.

Attached you will find a Financial Shield guide published by PFR to discuss and present basic issues, funding rules and information that may be helpful in applying for the support. The guide, as well as various other information about the Financial Shield, is available also from PFR's website at https://pfr.pl/ 

It is currently unclear if Financial Shield assistance will also be available to firms with foreign majority or sole owners who are not residents of Poland for tax purposes.

Polish authorities are taking steps to secure European Commission's approval and go-ahead for the aid programmes designed as part of the Financial Shied. For all practical purposes, the scheme can effectively be launched only after it is approved by the Commission.

Microfirms and SMEs are to use commercial banks to file their applications for support. The submission deadlines and the scheme details are supposed to be communicated after European Commission's approval is secured.

Large enterprises should apply to PFR directly. Even though the Financial Shield is yet to be finally approved by the European Commission, PFR already offers an opportunity for large businesses to file preliminary support applications via its website (https://pfr.pl/oferta/tarcza-finansowa-pfr-dla-duzych-firm.html).

 

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