Entrepreneurs have exceptionally had the opportunity to apply for labor market support this spring due to the interest rate crisis.

Many entrepreneurs who applied for support criticized the process of applying for labor market support as confusing and slow. According to Minna Sillgren, who runs the sports bar Peluria with her husband in Lahti, it took 65 days to complete the application for support.

- Because we have a joint venture with my spouse, unemployment hit us both at the same time, Sillgren says.

- Yes, a few sleepless nights were spent wondering if we and the children had enough money for food.

He registered as unemployed as early as mid-March and applied to Kela for compensation as soon as possible. However, the processing of Sillgren’s application seemed to take time, while he heard many others receive a decision fairly quickly.

- At first it was said that there is congestion, but after a couple of months the faith ran out, Sillgren says.

In mid-May, he found himself receiving support while reviewing his account statement.

- I was amazed when there was money in the account, Sillgren says.

The actual decision came in the mail only a few days after the money.

- A little comic in a way to get support now that the restaurant can be reopened soon, he says.

Sillgren praised the government’s decision to support entrepreneurs, but would have liked clearer guidance on how to apply.

- At some point, the worker's website had instructions that unemployed entrepreneurs will have a different link to register. Then when I finally called, the phone advised me to sign up just as normal, Sillgren says.

The same message is repeated in online discussions between entrepreneurs. After submitting the application, it is not certain whether the online form has been filled in correctly and how it will proceed.

The beginning of the application process also confused Turku-based hairdressing entrepreneur Jarna Soinranta.

- I thought at first that everything went well. I also wrote that tell me if any attachments are needed, Soinranta says.

- When I had not received any decision and did not know how the application is progressing, I went to check the matter online. It turned out that the “job search” ended! And I just thought I made the application on time, Soinranta says.

According to Soinranta, it seemed that he could have applied for support next time only from the beginning of May, and still not receive it from March 16.

- Only one line went unnoticed in the application form.

However, the service of the TE Office almost moved Soinranta.

- I sent an email about it, wondering what I did wrong. There immediately came a worried call, where it was advised not to do this but to do so and I will contact a colleague, Soinranta recalls.

- The application went through it in about one phone call.

The experience of event entrepreneur Antti Jouppila is quite the opposite.

- Applying for support was a complete farce, the staff of the TE Office and Kela did not know what to do or how to interpret the company's accounting, Jouppila says.

In his opinion, Antti Jouppila did not receive the right decision from the TE Office: “Applying for support was a complete farce.

In his opinion, the TE Office gave a false statement about his situation five times.

- First, they said that I am a part-time entrepreneur, even if the TE-office is well-known that I have no income other than as an entrepreneur, he says.

- They made it difficult to apply, even though they advertised it easy.

He still does not blame the staff of either agency but the supervisors who he believes have not trained the officers.

- I personally came to the conclusion that I humbled myself and went to do other things, Jouppila says.

He is already opening up activities in other fields and encouraging other entrepreneurs to do the same.

8,443 entrepreneurs received support in April

In April, Kela paid special labor market support to 8,443 entrepreneurs due to the corona epidemic.

During April, a total of 13,169 labor market support solutions for entrepreneurs were made, of which 330 were rejections.

Support could be applied for from Thursday 16 April.

- All these April recipients have applied for the benefit in April, probably in the very first possible days, because the benefit application has been resolved and the payment has been made during the last two weeks of that April, says designer Sami Tuori from Kela's analytics unit.

By the end of last week, applications have been received from 29,028 entrepreneurs. According to Tuori, it is expected that the amount of subsidies to be paid in May will be higher.

- Unemployment insurance is paid retrospectively, so in May you will certainly receive a lot of benefits allocated for April, Tuori says.

The requirements for self-employed labor market support are that the self-employed person has ceased working full-time and their monthly income has fallen below EUR 1,089.67 due to the epidemic.

According to Kela, a total of EUR 4,653,890 in 147,068 days of labor market support was paid to entrepreneurs in April.