31.1.2023 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on business subsidies present subsidies granted to enterprises by different institutions in a single set of statistics. Business subsidies are considered to be relevant on correcting market failures. In accordance with the principles of the European Union, competition must be free and business subsidies are considered to distort competition and therefore granting of business subsidies is restricted. There are no international rules on compiling statistics on business subsidies. The statistics on business subsidies are part of the Official Statistics of Finland.

Statistics on business subsidies enables to study changes in subsidies over time, distribution to different industries and size classes. Size and turnover of the enterprises that received subsidies are compared to all enterprises in business register.

Statistical population

Enterprises operating in Finland that are entitled to business subsidies comprise the statistical population.

Statistical unit

Recipient of business subsidy, which is a legal unit.

Unit of measure

Subsidies are presented as euros and enterprises are counted as both absolute values and ratios.

Reference period

A calender year.

Reference area

Business subsidies are examined at the level of Finland as a whole and there are no regional classifications.

Sector coverage

The statistics consist of information from institutions granting business subsidies - Ministry of Economic Affairs, Business Finland, Finnvera and Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture of Finland. Before the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 1 January 2008, business subsidies were granted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Labour. Statistics does not include all business subsidies. For example statistics does not include tax subsidies, subsidies granted by municipalities and agricultural subsidies. Also, subsidies for internationalization and European Social Funds are not in the statistics.

Business subsidies paid by Ministry of Economic affairs can be categorized into pay subsidies, startup grants, internationalization subsidies, subsidies granted by ELY Centres and energy subsidies. Subsidies of Finnvera consists of loans and quarantees. For Business Finland, national research and development grants and loans are included in the statistics. In the administrative branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, only the business subsidies granted to enterprises are included. Agricultural subsidies are outside the scope of the statistics. All the projects governed by Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture of Finland are included, however statistics does not include general development projects aimed at developing business activities, or projects aimed at developing the activities of specific categories of enterprises.

Time coverage

The statistics have been published since the calendar year 2008 (statistical year 2006). Data are available from the statistical year 2004 onwards.

Frequency of dissemination

Currently the statistics are published annually..

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The figures calculated by industry and enterprise size category contain inaccuracies because there is no background information on all enterprises included in the statistics.

Timeliness

Data concerning the statistical reference year are released at a time lag of around five months.

Punctuality

The statistics have been published on schedule.

Completeness

In principle the statistics consists of a complete data on those subsidies included in the statistics. Subsidies included have been estimated to be relevant for the phenomenon in the founding phase or later on. Check chapter 3.3.

Sampling error

Statistics on business subsidies include all the enterprises having received subsidies, so there are no sampling error.

Coverage error

Should any subsidy be included multiple times, only one will be left, others will be removed.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

There are no international guidelines, rules or recommendations for compiling statistics on business subsidies. Business subsidies are defined and measured differently in different countries. This means that the statistics produced by individual countries are not directly comparable.

Comparability - over time

Every effort has been made to prepare a comparable time series of the data contained in the statistics from 2004 onwards. The key data contained in the time series are always published in connection with the new statistics released annually. No international comparison data on the statistics are available. The merger of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Labour into the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment may slightly weaken the comparability of the statistics over time. Different types of subsidy (loans, guarantees and direct subsidies) are not directly comparable with each other. Changes in programme periods and changes in subsidy criteria have a slight impact on comparability (especially in time series). Project subsidies are included in the data supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before the statistical year 2010, which weakens comparability between time series. The energy subsidies paid by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment have been included in direct subsidies since 2013. In 2020 to 2021, special subsidies were granted due to the corona pandemic.

Coherence - cross domain

Enterprises granted R&D subsidies by Business Finland are included in the statistics on research and development compiled by Statistics Finland. These subsidies are part of the data used in the statistics on business subsidies.

Coherence - internal

The business subsidy database covers the direct subsidies, loans and guarantees paid and granted during the statistical year. The annual totals of granted and paid subsidies differ from each other because granted subsidies may be paid over a period of several years or they may not necessarily be paid in full. The subsidies may also be recovered if the recipient fails to meet or is in breach of the terms and conditions imposed by the institution granting the subsidies or its own pledges. For this reason, most business subsidy statistics released by Statistics Finland only contain data on direct subsidies paid (and not on direct subsidies granted).

Source data and data collections

Source data

The statistics are based on administrative data obtained from the subsidy providers.

Data collection

The providers of the subsidies transfer the data to Statistics Finland as a line transfer.

Frequency of data collection

Data suppliers submit the data to Statistics Finland each year.

Methods

Data compilation

Data on different subsidy providers are combined by enterprise. Data from the Business Register, such as the number of employees and turnover, are added to the data. The data for the Business Register are mostly from the Finnish Tax Administration registers and the inquiries carried out by Statistics Finland. The amount of subsidies calculated from the data is compared with the figures for the previous year.

Data validation

The accuracy of the incoming data is checked. The form of the variables is checked and unnecessary variables are removed. Every effort is made to ensure that the Business Identity Codes have been given in correct format. If necessary, the data are edited so that different types of subsidy can be specified. Any subsidies for public activities are removed and if the same subsidy appears more than once, unnecessary repetitions are removed.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland

Contact organisation unit

Economic Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation 

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

Confidentiality - data treatment

The data are reported in such a format that individual subsidy recipients cannot be identified. The data are processed only by persons that need business subsidy data in their work. Business ID has been classified in the data used by research center of Statistics Finland.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland 

Data sharing

The business subsidies data are available to researchers in the business subsidy database of Statistics Finland’s Research Services, and it can also be accessed remotely.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service. 

Micro-data access

Data on enterprise level is available in the research center of Statistics Finland. Business ID is classified in that data.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 

User needs

The statistics have originally been founded for national need. Information is being used by public administrators and researchers.

User satisfaction

User satisfaction has not been measured. However statistics has been designed and being developed in cooperation with the users.

Quality assessment

The statistics are in accordance with the quality criteria of the Official Statistics of Finland. No separate quality assessments are carried out.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The frameworks complement each other. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data. 

Statistical experts

Tommi Veistämö
Senior Statistician
029 551 3546

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