Irrespective of the Anti-Crisis Shield already in force and the work on its supplementation, the Fund Act came into force, which is to allow all enterprises already benefiting from EU funds to adapt their projects to the new situation and to avoid the risk of reimbursement of co-financing in the event of the occurrence of irregularities as a result of the epidemic, which the beneficiaries could not avoid, in particular:
- the beneficiary (SME, large entrepreneur) will be able to apply to the institution for an amendment to the contract under the special procedure of the fund specustum, even if the amendment resulted in non-fulfilment of the project selection criteria,
- in the case of an irregularity resulting directly from an epidemic, it will be possible to prevent the return of co-financing by the beneficiary, if he/she proves that he/she could not prevent it despite exercising due diligence
- deadlines resulting from agreements on co-financing, including the project completion date, will be possible to extend
- it will be possible to suspend the procedure for returning the grant or to suspend the execution of the decision on its return.
In addition, in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak, entirely new opportunities for obtaining EU funding have arisen:
- any company, whether SME or large (including those in difficulty) will be able to apply for a new grant, as well as a repayable advance, loan, guarantee or surety, to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak,
- the aid can be used not only for investment, but also (unlike before) to cover ongoing operating costs,
- aid under these special rules will be granted only until the end of 2020.
A programme of support for enterprises, both SMEs and large enterprises, has also been adopted by the Polish Development Fund – in the case of SMEs in the form of non-refundable grants, and in the case of large enterprises in the form of liquidity financing, investment financing (capital contributions) and, most interestingly, in the form of a loan redeemable at up to 75% of its amount.
Taking into account a limited pool of available funds, interested entrepreneurs should as soon as possible analyse their situation with regard to possible financing and prepare the necessary documents.