COVID-19: Polish firms to get aid under 2nd financial shield on Jan. 18

Polish companies damaged by COVID-related lockdown provisions should get money under the government's liquidity aid on January 18, the deputy prime minister and development and labour minister said on Friday.

"The first part of the funds from PFR's (Polish Development Fund) Financial Shield 2.0 should reach business bank accounts on Monday,'' Jaroslaw Gowin told a briefing.

On January 5, the government approved the second version of a COVID-19 financial shield for micro, small and medium-sized businesses and amended the first version of the shield. The Financial Shield 2.0 will provide support for 45 different sectors damaged by the coronavirus.

Financial aid under version 2.0 of the shield, that provides up to PLN 13 billion (EUR 2.86 billion) aid for such companies, will be distributed until March 31.

Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin noted that together with the write-off of subsidies from the Financial Shield 1.0, the PFR's support for the most severely affected sectors will reach as much as PLN 20 billion (EUR 4.4 billion).

According to the PFR, which oversees the financial shield programme, up to 70,000 companies may apply for aid under the new scheme.

Deputy PM Gowin added that till now the financial shield has distributed around PLN 170 billion (EUR 37.4 billion) in aid to Polish companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting limitations on businesses.

He also announced that the government will extend support for firms if pandemic-related restrictions have to be kept in the coming weeks or months.

Olga Semeniuk, a deputy Development Minister, said that the second financial shield will be extended to help entrepreneurs running tourist accommodation facilities and short-term tourist rental accommodation.