The coronavirus has the Netherlands in an iron grip. Measures are tightened at a quick pace, which causes growing uncertainty amongst entrepreneurs. What has been arranged for them? What are they possibly entitled to? Who do they turn to? We have collected essential information for entrepreneurs from the Arnhem – Nijmegen – Ede/Wageningen region.
Online Forum and Monitor
As from 30 March, The Economic Board provides a new page on its website which contains all relevant information concerning the corona crisis for entrepeneurs from the Arnhem – Nijmegen – Wageningen region. This special page aslo features a forum which can be used to ask questions to fellow entrepeneurs, or to help them with the questions they have.
You can also subscribe to our weekly corona newsletter on this page, which will be first published in the first week of April.
SME Credit Guarantee Scheme (BMKB)
The latest news is that the SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB) has been extended. This extension takes immediate effect. BMKB concerns the suretyship of small to medium-sized enterprises. The regulation allows entrepreneurs to borrow larger amounts of money more quickly from e.g. banks as from 16 March. Businesses can use the BMKB scheme for a bridge loan, or to increase the overdraft limit (how much they are allowed to be ‘in the red’) on their current account. The guarantee runs to 75% of the credit given by the financing party, instead of 50%. Entrepreneurs who miss income or production due to the coronavirus get 300 million euros at their disposal because of this regulation, according to cabinet. More information, e.g. on application, can be found here.
From 16 March 2020 to 1 April 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme will be extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing. The extended scheme is referred to as BMKB-C.
Compensation Entrepeneurs Affected Sectors (TOGS)
The TOGS regulation is effective as from 27 March. This measure provides businesses with a once-only compensation of 4,000 euros. This compensation is primarily meant to enable entrepeneurs to cover their overheads. Entrepeneurs can apply via rvo.nl/tegemoetkomingcorona (in Dutch).
The €4,000 Compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) is now open for entrepreneurs in a number of specific sectors who have been affected by the coronavirus measures. You can apply to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch). To find out if your business is eligible for the compensation, check the SBI code list (in Dutch). At the bottom of the page, there is a search tool (Zoektool SBI-codes) where you can enter your KVK number to find out your SBI code.
Staff: Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW)
What can businesses with staff do? The new temporary measure Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW, Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid) will provide financial help for employers to help pay their employees’ wages. The unemployment benefit during short-time working scheme has been cancelled. You can apply for the NOW scheme from Monday 6 April through 31 May 2020.
Some other important facts may be that businesses cannot apply for some sort of special corona-remittance for their employees. The usual rules with regard to reporting illness apply to employees in quarantine. For personnel that is to stay at home because of a mild cold, a sickness benefit can be arranged in some instances.
Self-Employed Professionals (zzp-ers): TOZO
Self-employed professionals will be able to apply for an extra, temporary benefit for self-employed professionals (Tozo) to bridge the loss of income from 1 March onwards, in the municipality where they live.
Startups and Scale-ups
Startups and scale-ups will be able to apply for credits to Regional Development Companies (ROMs) from the fourth week of April. The terms and conditions of this scheme will be announced as soon as possible.
The ROM for our region is Oost NL. They have announced that the credits may go from 50,000 and 2 million euros. For larger amounts of money the ROMs will cooperate with InvestNL. If possible, the ROMs will join forces with private investors.
TechLeap.nl offers the COVID-19 Startup Guide, a toolkit that contains resources, contact and information points, as well as analyses of the corona crisis. It also hosts a series of sessions on the effects of the coronavirus, and how startups can deal with these effects. These sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00 hours. You can sign up for these sessions. The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship also broadcast a webinar on 2 April. You can watch it here.
Whoever gets into financial difficulties due to the coronavirus can apply for postponement of certain tax payments. This goes for businesses with and without staff. Income tax, corporate tax, sales tax/VAT and tax on wages fall within this regulation. The entrepreneur should confirm in writing that they experience difficulties due to the corona crisis. If you are expecting lower profits because of the outbreak of corona, it may be a good idea to alter your estimated tax assessment. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch tax authorities. Since both the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus and the actual application processes are in Dutch, it would be wise to consult the Tax Information Line if Dutch isn’t your primary language. The number for resident entrepreneurs is +31 (0)800 0543; non-residents can call +31(0)55 538 53 85.
Would you like to know which measures the municipality you live/work in has taken? Check the overview below (websites are in Dutch):
- Berg en Dal
- Mook en Middelaar
- Overbetuwe (aanvullende nieuwsbrief)
- Renkum (aanvullende nieuwsbrief)
Five banks (ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, de Volksbank and Triodos) announced on 19 March that smaller enterprises with financing up to 2,5 million euros can request an extention of repayment. Contact your bank for further details.
Cabinet presented a new set of measures on Tuesday 17 March. Approximately 10 to 20 billion euros will be made available for these regulations. The measures concern, among other things, a new emergengy fund, more flexible social security for zzp-ers, loans, and a new emergency regulation that provides businesses that suffer from the coronavirus outbreak with a subsidy of 4000 euros.
The province of Gelderland has announced that it will make 5 million euros available to support local entrepeneurs.
Information on the impact of corona
Where can you find information and who can you turn to with the questions you might have?
- The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce has a special telephone number for entrepreneurs who have questions as a result of the coronavirus: 0800-2117.
- The Dutch government’s website offers elaborate information for entrepreneurs.