Half of Polish firms took advantage of government aid programmes

Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

The Polish Development Fund has channeled billions of funds to companies struggling with the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic since it began in the spring of 2020.

"Half of all companies in Poland, 370,000 enterprises, benefited from the financial shield from the Polish Development Fund (PFR). These were mainly micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises that received subsidies during the first stage of the pandemic," Paweł Borys, head of the PFR, said on Thursday.

Borys pointed out that during the second and third waves of the pandemic, aid was directed to companies in specific sectors.

The PFR head said that companies that have already received government support employ some 3.5 million people. "This is a very large scale. Also 100 large companies... received various types of financing," added Borys.

He said thanks to the support, most of these firms survived the crisis more or less safely. "We are doing everything to get companies past the shock caused by the pandemic."

Borys also said that the pandemic contributed to an "incredible acceleration of certain trends, especially when it comes to digital transformation. If Polish companies do not invest in new technologies, they will simply not be competitive."

As part of the PFR 1.0 financial shield, launched in the spring 2020, PFR paid out PLN 61 billion (EUR 13.4 billion).

In the face of the second wave of the pandemic, the government and PFR prepared a second financial shield aimed at providing financial aid to companies from industries that had to reduce or suspend their activities due to the lockdown.