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11 December 2020

PFR Financial Shield 2.0 – 35 billion PLN for 38 industries

The PFR 2.0 Financial Shield is a continuation of the program launched in April 2020 as a response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. The first edition was addressed mainly to microenterprises, and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) regardless of the industry. It has also offered repayable financial subsidies and the possibility of remission up to 75% of the subsidy value.

PFR 2.0 Shield budget

According to the Ministry of Finance, the budget of the second installment of PFR Shield will amount to 35 billion PLN. The funds will be available as financial subsidies (non-returnable under certain conditions) for companies from the list of eligible industries.

The budget of the PFR 2.0 Financial Shield, divided into employment segments, presents as follows:

  • micro-enterprises – up to 3 billion PLN of support
  • SMEs – up to 7 billion PLN of support
  • large companies – approx. 25 billion PLN of support (along with updated rules for participants of Shield 1.0)

Eligible industries

The PFR financial instrument is not intended universally for all entrepreneurs. The aid will cover 38 industries most affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the catering, hotel, fitness, and entertainment industries.

The full list with the codes of the Polish Classification of Activities can be found here (Polish only). At the same time, the Ministry of Finance suggested that the list may be expanded in the coming weeks.

How to apply?

The PFR Shield is implemented via electronic banking. The list of accepted banks is available here. The person representing the company must ensure that he/she has access to the Beneficiary’s electronic banking and is authorized to make declarations of will on his behalf.

The deadline for submitting applications is January-February 2021 for micro-enterprises and SMEs, and January-March for large companies. The final date will be known only after approval of the notification application by the European Commission.

Rules

PFR Shield 2.0 for micro-companies

Micro-companies employing from 1 to 9 employees (only from the list of 38 industries) can qualify for the program. As in the case of the previous PFR Financial Shield, the balance sheet total or turnover for 2019 may not exceed EUR 2 million.

The qualifying factors are the number of employees (thus excluding the owner) and the value of the decrease in turnover. PFR proposes two thresholds for the base amount of the subsidy:

  • 18 thousand PLN – if the indicated reduction in turnover exceeds 30% but is not greater than 60%;
  • 36 thousand PLN – if the demonstrated reduction in turnover exceeds 60%.

Then the base amount is multiplied by the number of employees.

  • with a base amount of 18 thousand PLN – the maximum amount (for nine employees) may amount to 162 thousand PLN (18×9);
  • for the base amount of 36 thousand PLN – the maximum amount may be 324 thousand PLN (36×9).

As for the full remission of the subsidy, there are necessary conditions to be met, as follows:

  • maintaining business activity as of December 31st, 2021;
  • keeping the average employment in 2021 compared to 2020.

PFR Shield 2.0 for SMEs

The program is aimed at companies employing no more than 249 employees, with a turnover for 2019 of less than or equal to 50 million EUR and a balance sheet total of less than 43 million EUR.

A significant premise is also the decrease in turnover directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic – by at least 30% compared to 2019, in the period April-December or October-December 2020.

The final amount of the subsidy will be calculated based on:

  • prediction of fixed costs that may be incurred by the company,
  • fixed costs incurred, not covered by the company’s operations from gross profit and other sources, such as insurance, other aid received under the Temporary Framework, or support from other sources, during the 6 months between November 2020 and April 2021.

The subsidy must be used to cover fixed costs not covered by revenue. This means that the subsidy can be used, for example, on employee salaries. It cannot be used for such expenses as loan pre-payments, paying the owner’s obligations towards related entities, or financing the takeover or acquisition of another enterprise.

As for the full remission of the subsidy, there are necessary conditions to be met, as follows:

  • maintaining business activity as of December 31st, 2021,
  • settlement of the surplus after October 31st, 2021, but it is not possible to compensate the costs incurred more than the support received,
  • presenting the net loss report based on the financial statements.

Additionally, an important update for SMEs beneficiaries of Shield 1.0 have been published. According to the president of PFR, Paweł Borys, the PFR plans to offer 100 percent remission of subsidies value for small and medium enterprises that participated in the PFR Shield 1.0. The updated remission rules do not apply to large enterprises.

PFR Shield 2.0 for large companies

Large companies, meaning those employing over 249 employees with a turnover of over 50 million PLN for the previous year, can count on the continuation of the program launched with the Shield 1.0. The protection period of the PFR has been extended to March 31st, 2021.

Details about the program for large companies are available here.

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