COVID-19: 370,00 companies benefited from governmental aid: PFR head

Some 370,000 companies, mainly micro, small and medium-sized received subsidies during the first stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and benefited from the PFR stimulus package, Paweł Borys, the head of the Polish Development Fund (PFR) said.

Mr Borys stated that from the beginning it was assumed that the impact of the pandemic on the economy could last at least 12 months, hence the mechanisms motivating companies to maintain employment were just calculated for 12 months.

He said that during the second and third waves of the pandemic, aid granted to companies is more sectoral, focused on those industries “directly affected by the restrictions”.

Mr Borys pointed out that the companies that had received support hire about 3.5 mln people. In his opinion - taking into account data from the labor market and the enterprise sector - “most of these companies went through this crisis as safely as possible, with the support of governmental aid.”

The PFR head noted that companies themselves have had to adapt to the current situation, by introducing initiatives such as remote sales.

As part of the PFR 1.0 stimulus package, launched in spring 2020, PFR paid out PLN 61 bn (EUR 13.4 bn) to companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the face of the second wave of the pandemic, the government and PFR prepared a 2.0 version of the stimulus package. This is a new support programme aimed at providing financial aid to companies from industries that had to reduce or suspend their activities due to the epidemiological situation.