Government's pandemic aid goes to 86 pct of Polish firms

Most of the companies which qualified for aid, 92 percent, benefited from more than one support instrument, and exemption from social insurance dues was the most popular type of relief. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Up to 86 percent of Polish companies tapped into the government's coronavirus relief programme between March and December 2020, the Polish Economic Institute (PIE), an advisory body to the government, has said.

The amount of aid the government distributed through its various agencies for Polish businesses reached PLN 162.9 billion (EUR 36.09 billion) in the first 10 months of the pandemic, PIE also said in a report published on Wednesday.

Most of the companies which qualified for aid, 92 percent, benefited from more than one support instrument, and exemption from social insurance dues was the most popular type of relief.

Also popular were reduced working time, financial support, and subsidies for wages and social insurance premiums.

Over a half of all companies, 52 percent, took advantage of more than 10 government support instruments.

According to PIE, the relief programme, also known as the Anti-Crisis Shield, helped Poland neutralise the impact of the crisis and, at the end of 2020, exceed earlier European Commission forecasts for economic performance.

The Polish economy contracted by 2.7 percent in 2020 after nearly three decades of uninterrupted growth, but the drop was still milder than the 4.3 percent predicted by the European Commission in the spring of 2020.