Despite the passage of time, the COVID-19 pandemic is not slowing down. A significant rise in coronavirus infections in October 2020 has led the Polish government to introduce new restrictions, which heavily affected certain groups of entrepreneurs. To mitigate the negative effects of these restrictions, a draft act on amending the law on special solutions related to the prevention, prevention, and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases, and crises caused by them has been prepared. This act, called the Anti-crisis Shield 6.0 or the industry shield, has been submitted to the Parliament on 26 October 2020 and currently is after the first reading (the course of the legislative process is available here).
We set out below forms of financial aid provided by the draft as well as the groups of entities to which it was addressed.
The project of the Anti-crisis Shield 6.0 focuses on financial aid for entrepreneurs operating in industries that objectively suffered most from the introduction of new restrictions. These include, among others, the catering, fitness, trade fair, entertainment, recreation, photography, and physiotherapy industries.
Forms of Aid Defendant on the PKD Code
To determine the circle of people entitled to receive the State aid, the project of the Anti-crisis Shield 6.0 links particular forms of aid with specific codes of the Polish Classification of Activities (PKD).
For example, a release from the obligation to pay social security contributions for the period from 1 November to 30 November 2020, could be granted only to the entrepreneurs who, as of 30 September 2020, as a predominant activity, conducted activity under code 47.71.Z, 47.81.Z, 47.82.Z, 47.89.Z, 56.10.A, 56.10.B, 56.29.Z, 56.30.Z, 59.11.Z, 74.20.Z, 77.21.Z, 82.30.Z, 85.51.Z, 86.90.A, 86.90.D, 90.01.Z, 90.02.Z, 93.11.Z, 93.13.Z, 93.19.Z, 93.21.Z, 93.29.A, 93.29.B, 93.29.Z or 96.04.Z.
These include such activities as retail sale of clothes and food on stalls and markets, running restaurants, preparing and serving drinks, renting recreational and sports equipment, performing arts events, as well as photographic activity, physiotherapeutic activity, and activity of sports facilities, amusement parks, and escape rooms.
Additionally, to be granted a release from the obligation to pay social security contributions, one will have to demonstrate that by 30 June 2020 he has been declared a payer, as well as prove that the income that he earned in November 2020 was at least 40% lower than the income earned in November 2019.
An analogous circle of eligible entities, defined through the above-mentioned PKD codes, has been provided for a one-off interest-free grant of up to 5000 PLN to cover the current costs of running a business. It is worth adding that this form of aid was requested by the Parliament Committee working on the project of the Anti-crisis Shield 6.0 (the content of the project taking into account the changes introduced by the Committee is available here).
According to the project, an additional condition for receiving such a grant will be a 40% decrease in income in October or November 2020 compared to income earned in October or November 2019 respectively, as well as a demonstration of the status of a micro or small entrepreneur. Notably, entrepreneurs who have suspended their business activity for the period covering 30 September 2020 will not be able to benefit from this type of aid. This is, therefore, a different type of aid than the micro-loan which was introduced in the spring and which was available for most of the entrepreneurs.
Another form of aid is an additional one-time idle time benefit, which has been provided for entrepreneurs who have already taken advantage of idle time benefit before, and at the same time, who, as of 30 September 2020, as a predominant activity, conducted activity marked with one of 20 of the above-mentioned 25 codes, namely code 47.71.Z, 47.81.Z, 47.82. Z, 47.89.Z, 56.10.A, 56.10.B, 56.29.Z, 56.30.Z, 59.11.Z, 74.20.Z, 77.21.Z, 82.30.Z, 85.51.Z, 86.90.A, 86.90.D, 93.11.Z, 93.13.Z, 93.19.Z, 93.21.Z or 96.04.Z.
It means that, like with the release from the obligation to pay social security contributions and the one-off interest-free grant, this type of aid could be requested by entrepreneurs who, among other things, sell clothes or food on stalls and markets, operate restaurants or sport facilities, or conduct photographic or physiotherapeutic activities. But it could not be requested by entrepreneurs who, for example, run escape rooms or perform arts events.
Similarly as in the case of the one-off interest-free loan, the one interested in receiving such a benefit, will have to demonstrate that it has the status of a micro or small entrepreneur as well as that that it experienced a 40% decrease in income in October or November 2020 compared to income earned in October or November 2019 respectively.
The above means that the entrepreneurs who started their activity in December 2019 or later will not be eligible to benefit from any of the above-mentioned forms of aid, as they will not be able to indicate the decrease of income in relation to the previous year, as the project requires. At the same time, according to the project, many industries affected by new restrictions, such as the hairdressing and cosmetics industry or the furniture industry, were not covered by the aid. However, it should be remembered that the project is currently at a very early stage of legislative work, which means that the material and personal scope of the aid provided therein could be changed.
Other Forms of Aid
The project of the Anti-crisis Shield 6.0 also provides for a suspension of the collection of the fair fee in the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. Such a fee is collected from natural persons, legal entities, and organizational units without legal personality, conducting sales at marketplaces. In practice, therefore, it concerns small entrepreneurs without commercial infrastructure, who sell in person, with the help of family members or individual employees.
Moreover, based on the designed shield, it will be possible to submit applications, among others, for:
The article is for information purposes only and under no circumstances constitutes a legal opinion or advice. For more detailed information or legal assistance, contact DT’s lawyer.
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