The coronavirus has had the Netherlands in its grip for some months now. In this article, we give an overview for entrepreneurs of the measures taken. Do you want to learn more about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Arnhem – Nijmegen – Wageningen area? We collect news stories, webinars, support options and more on our coronavirus page!
Since a package of emergency measures was first announced by the cabinet, some changes have been implemented to said measures. Some new conditions and types of support were also introduced. The duration of the measures was extended to October. The article below has been supplemented.
SME Credit Guarantee Scheme (BMKB)
The BMKB (‘Borgstelling midden- en kleinbedrijf’) scheme has been expanded. From 16 March onwards, it has been made easier for entrepreneurs to get a higher loan more quickly. They can use the scheme to get a bridge loan or to up the overdraft limit. The expansion entails that the size of the credit guarantee has been upped from 50 percent to 75 percent of the credit offered by the financier. According to the cabinet this means that entrepreneurs who are missing income or production due to the coronavirus, will have a total of 300 million euro at their disposal. More information, also relating to how you can apply, is given here (in Dutch).
The BMKB interest percentage has been lowered from 3.9 to 2 percent, in order to make the scheme more accessible for entrepreneurs. The available guarantee budget has been increased from 765 million to 1.5 billion euros. Finally, the cabinet has decided that accreditation should be available to other financiers than just banks, so that they can provide funding for their existing clients under the coronavirus module of the BMKB.
Compensation Fixed Charges SME (TVL)
The updated version of the coronavirus emergency measures also contains a scheme for SME entrepreneurs with less than 250 staff members in seriously affected sectors like hospitality, recreation, events, fairgrounds, performance venues and theatres. On top of the NOW (‘Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkgelegenheid’), the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure NOW, entrepreneurs might now be eligible for a tax-free compensation for their fixed material costs. The subsidy can amount to a maximum of 50,000 euros and is in effect for the period of 1 June up to and including 30 September 2020. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) has made a total of 1.4 billion euros available for the same sectors that are eligible for the TOGS scheme. An application for TVL can be submitted with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO from 30 June up to and including 30 October.
→ Read all about TVL here (in Dutch)
Entrepreneurs with staff: Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure (NOW)
What options are there for entrepreneurs who have staff members in their employ? During a press conference on Tuesday evening 17 March, the announcement was made that the Working Time Reduction scheme was stopped straight away and replaced by a new emergency fund: the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure (NOW). Some changes to the NOW were applied on 28 May, and an updated version of the NOW came into effect.
The main changes are that the NOW has been extended to 1 October 2020, mechanisms have been put in place to better serve seasonal businesses and their staff, and the ban on bonuses and dividend distribution for business that use the NOW scheme in 2020 has been introduced. Furthermore, the surcharge on wages is now forty percent and if an employer dismisses employees on economic grounds, the employer will have to pay back a hundred percent of the compensation received per employee. Finally, employers are obliged to stimulate employees to take retraining or reskilling courses.
Applications for the updated version of the NOW scheme (also referred to as NOW 2.0) can be submitted from 6 July onwards and the scheme is in effect through June, July, August, and September.
Self-employed professionals: Temporary Bridging Measure for Self-Employed Professionals (Tozo)
When self-employed professionals run into financial difficulties in normal circumstances, they can make use of the Decree on Assistance to the Self-Employed (‘Besluit bijstandsverlening zelfstandigen’ – Bbz). The National Government has created a similar measure — but with less conditions — for the coronavirus crisis: the Temporary Bridging Measure for Self-Employed Professionals (Tozo). The scheme is executed by local municipalities and application for the scheme can be submitted until 1 October 2020.
Tozo allows you a maximum of three months of income support up to the minimum social income. From 1 June onward, the income of your partner is factored into the means test. Self-employed professionals can also apply for a loan for operating capital if they are confronted with liquidity issues. The load for operating capital can amount to a maximum of 10,157 euros with 2 percent interest. The maximum duration of the loan is three years. Repayment is not required until January 2021.
Click on your municipality for more information (in Dutch) regarding Tozo:
- Berg en Dal
- Mook en Middelaar
Corona Bridging Loan (COL)
COL Infographic Since 29 April, the Corona Bridging Loan (‘Corona-Overbruggingslening’ – COL) has been available for start-ups, scale-ups and other innovative SMEs currently impacted by the coronavirus crisis. They can apply for a bridging loan with the regional development corporation (‘Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij’ – ROM). Gelderland’s ROM is Oost NL (in Dutch), Limburg’s ROM is LIOF (for entrepreneurs from the municipality of Mook en Middelaar).
The loans can amount to anything between five thousand and two million euros, with an interest of three percent and a duration of three years. In the case of loans above 250 thousand euros, 25 percent co-financing will be expected from shareholders or other investors.
Initially, the cabinet made 100 million euros available for the COL. Invest-NL added an extra 100 million euro to that number. On 20 May the cabinet announced it would make an additional 150 million euros available. A week later, the budget was upped with fifty million euros and the application period was extended to 1 October.
Formal agreement on the details of the COL 2.0 with Brussels was reached on 2 July. The COL 2.0 has some adjusted conditions. Apart from the formal criteria, requests between 20 May and 1 October were also checked for qualitative criteria, like the number of FTEs and the importance of innovation. For the review process for applications between 1 July and 1 October, an additional fifty million euros will at least be made available. Contrary to the earlier iteration of the COL, third parties may also provide co-financing if there are no shareholders.
Do you own an SEM and have your international activities been impacted by the coronavirus crisis? Find solution with the help of an external advisor. From 26 June onwards, you can apply for the Kickstart voucher.
Compensation Entrepreneurs Affected Sectors COVID-19 (TOGS) (closed)
Applications for the Compensation Entrepreneurs Affected Sectors COVID-19 (TOGS – ‘Tegemoetkoming Ondernemers Getroffen Sectoren’) could be made from 27 March up to and including 26 June 2020. Businesses from both the food and non-food sectors could apply for a one-time compensation of 4000 euros. This compensation was intended to allow entrepreneurs to pay their fixed charges. The National Government’s website states that applications could be made by entrepreneurs via rvo.nl/tegemoetkomingcorona from Friday 27 March 2020 up to and including Friday 26 June 2020. The business needed to be based in the Netherlands and the main activity needed to be apparent from the registration in the trade register from the cut-off date of 15 March 2020. The payment of the grant would take place as quickly as possible after the application was submitted. The applications would be checked to prevent fraud.
The cabinet is creating an emergency package of 650 million euros for specific parts of the agricultural sector, announced Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. By far the largest part of that amount, 600 million euros, is allocated to horticulture and some parts of the food horticulture. There is a scheme to accommodate for the loss of turnover. The other 50 million euros is intended for compensation of the impacted growers of potatoes that are used for fries.
Cultural and creative sector
The cabinet is accommodating the cultural and creative sector with various measures. Institutions and self-employed professionals can use the general as well as the sector-specific measures. Furthermore, three hundred million euros of supplementary support is available through five schemes. The goal of this supplementary support is mainly to help out institutions that are important to the sector as a whole, for instance because they are generating employment opportunities for other institutions and self-employed professionals.
In order to provide some financial space to entrepreneurs who ran into difficulties because of the coronavirus crisis, the cabinet is implementing various tax measures. Firstly, entrepreneurs can apply for a special extension of payment of all tax debts. Also, the cabinet has lowered the recovery interest for all tax debts from 4% to 0.01% from 23 March 2020. And the tax interest rate has temporarily been set to 0.01% from 1 June 2020 onwards. For income tax, that interest has been lowered from 1 July 2020.
The tax measures will be in force until at least 1 October 2020.
→ Read more about the government’s tax measures here (in Dutch)
All twenty municipalities of the Arnhem – Nijmegen – Wageningen area have allowed their entrepreneurs deferment of tax payments. Please note: you do need to apply for this through your own municipality.
The government is making it easier for businesses to obtain bank loans and guarantees by broadening the Corporate Financing Guarantee Scheme (‘Garantie Ondernemingsfinanciering’ – GO). For large businesses and SMEs, the ceiling for guarantees has been extended to 10 billion euros (previously 1.5 billion). The maximum amount that businesses can borrow is upped to 150 million euros. On 7 April, the maximum guarantee percentage was upped from fifty to eighty percent for large enterprises and ninety percent of SMEs (on the condition that they have been impacted by the coronavirus).
ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Volksbank and Triodos allow smaller enterprises with funding of up to 2.5 million euros a repayment extension of six months, on the condition that the business is healthy at its core. For more information, please contact your bank.
Would you like to know which measures, supports, and tips the municipality in which live and/or work offers? Check out the alphabetical overview (in Dutch) below:
The municipality of Arnhem allows entrepreneurs to postpone their payment of municipal taxes. This applies up to and including July 2020 for all entrepreneurs registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
Arnhem’s support fund for entrepreneurs SOFA (‘Stichting Ondernemersfonds Arnhem’) has, together with Arnhem municipality, agreed to the establishment of a temporary Emergency Fund. 300,000 euros will initially be made available for the coming period up to 1 October 2020. An urgency procedure has been organised with adjusted conditions and obligations. → Read more here
Arnhem municipality is investing nineteen million euros in the local economy, announced its municipal executive on 7 July 2020. The municipality of Arnhem is trying to support businesses and organisations that and individuals who have suffered severely from the coronavirus crisis; it also hopes to sustainably strengthen the city in this fashion. → Read more here
- Berg en Dal
- Mook en Middelaar
Nijmegen municipality has taken temporary measures to supplement the national package of measures. The municipality is extending these measures to 1 September 2020. Rules are extended, outgoing payments are quickened, extensions are granted on incoming payments, the existing regulations surrounding the Participation Act are implemented in a generous fashion, the allowance for housing costs is upped, the search period is temporarily eliminated for young people requesting a PA welfare payment, no fees/rent for activities that are (partly) cancelled, a relaxed approach to subsidy recipients not rendering an agreed upon performance, a more free approach to the use of specific public funds, a subsidy scheme for coronavirus-related cultural projects, support for temporary alternatives and events, and adjustment of the rent increase of municipal houses and sites. → Read mor here
- Renkum (supplementary newsletter)
The Province of Gelderland
The Province of Gelderland has made 10 million euros available for emergency assistance. Nearly 6 million euros went to the municipalities. The other 4 million euros is being distributed via specific schemes.
A total of fifty million euros has been made available by the province for the recovery programme (in Dutch) that should help Gelderland weather the coronavirus crisis.
The province has a special website (in Dutch) on which all information with regard to the coronavirus crisis is compiled. It also features the impact monitor for Gelderland, which is updated on a weekly basis.
Information on the impact of coronavirus on entrepreneurs
Where can entrepreneurs gather more information and to whom should they address their questions?
- The Chamber of Commerce has a special corona service point (in Dutch). The site provides a lot of information, and entrepreneurs can call a special number if they have any questions: 0800-2117. Dutch SME organisation MKB-Nederland and employers’ organisation VNO-NCW are also aiding in this effort.
- The National Government’s website also provides a lot of answers to questions. Read about the full package of coronavirus measures on the National Government’s website here.
- Oost NL’s website contains all information about the coronavirus that is relevant for regional entrepreneurs.
- The same goes for the websites of, among others, MKB-Nederland (in Dutch), and employers’ organisation AWVN.
- Were you involved in a project of OP Oost? For questions about programmes, projects and/or funding, you can contact OP Oost here (in Dutch).