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Coronavirus casualties: From self-employed to unemployed

The All Points North podcast looks at the difficulties sole traders are facing and steps they can take to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

At the barber shop
Image: AOP

The Finnish economy is feeling the pinch of the novel coronavirus pandemic with firms large and small seeing business dry up as a result of social distancing and other emergency measures.

This week All Points North looks at freelancers, sole traders and solo entrepreneurs and the crisis package that the government has put together for them.

Tom Bateman joined APN to talk about his discussions with solo and micro entrepreneurs who have been trying to pick up the pieces as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on their businesses.

You can listen to the full podcast via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your normal podcast player using the RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Story continues after audio.

Audio: Yle News

Some said that they did not always know about government programmes or institutions designed to help them, while others said they knew of rescue measures, but couldn't always find information in English.

"As a solo entrepreneur, I don't have the faintest idea what to do, and I've read about five or six articles on this topic and have even asked my accountant," Chris Ryan said on Facebook.

APN discussed two main measures that the government has introduced to help very small businesses. The first is a 2,000-euro grant that can be applied for at local municipalities, while the second is the expansion of the unemployment benefits system to cover entrepreneurs, including sole traders.

In addition, the government has also secured a commitment from other organisations to provide flexibility for solo entrepreneurs struggling to pay expenses during the crisis. Agencies such as the Finnish Tax Administration as well as pension insurance companies and banks have all indicated their willingness to provide more leeway with payments and repayment schedules.

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If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter account, or at

This week's podcast was presented by Denise Wall and Zena Iovino and our special guest Tom Bateman. The show was produced by Mark B. Odom. Our audio engineer this week was Anders Johansson.

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