Measures against Corona virus

The coronavirus can have consequences for your company and your employees. This page provides an overview of the measures that can support your company. We will keep you informed of the latest developments here. We also provide answers to frequently asked questions from entrepreneurs.

Support for entrepreneurs

National measures

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.

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.

For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).

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.

Entrepreneurs who have a loan from microcredit provider Qredits do not have to repay their loan for a period of 6 months. During this period, the interest will be reduced to 2%. The government supports Qredits with 6 million euros.

The €4,000 Reimbursement 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 reimbursement, 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.

From 29 April 2020, Startups and scale-ups can apply for a special bridging loan, the so-called Corona-Overbruggingslening (COL). This can be done at the Regional Development Companies (ROMs), which implement this scheme at the request of the cabinet. The cabinet will initially make 100 million euros available.
More information about criteria and applications can be found at www.rom-nederland.nl/corona-overbruggingslening.

The Incentive scheme eHealth at Home (SET). has been extended to make it easier for healthcare organisations that want to offer their clients eHealth solutions (such as video calls) to invest in apps, software or hardware. N.B.: As of 27 March, this subsidy is temporarily unavailable due to the unexpectedly large number of applications.

The government will extend the export credit insurance facility. It will be possible for companies to get a short-term guarantee with a runtime of less than 2 years. Also, other conditions are being extended. Read the news article on Rijksoverheid.nl (in Dutch).

The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) will be extended to include pre-delivery advances.

Extra measures to keep trade flows going (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland, 6 March)
International trade is also severely affected by the corona virus. Fewer orders are coming in, existing orders are being withdrawn, and production has come to a standstill due to a stagnating supply of parts (for example from China) or protectionism that is rearing its head. This while a third of our national income, many SMEs and some 2.3 million jobs depend on international trade. To keep international trade going as much as possible, the state will expand the options for export credit insurance from 26 March. The measures help prevent companies from experiencing greater payment risks, additional liquidity problems or international projects being forced to stop.

More information about the measures.

These measures have been announced, but have not yet been fully worked out or launched. Check this page regularly for changes.

  • Supplier credit insurance: The government will offer supplier credit insurance for companies that supply goods to SMEs, to ensure continued trade and confidence in supplier credit insurances.
  • Compensation for turnover loss for horticultural businesses: Horticultural businesses (food and ornamental) and farmers who produce processing potatoes will be able to claim compensation for part of their turnover loss from the government.
  • Extra support for the cultural sector: The government is working out measures to provide extra support for crucial cultural organisations and events.
  • Seasonal work: A special scheme will be worked out for companies that rely heavily on seasonal work.
  • Flex workers: Flex workers that have been laid off after 1 March due to the corona crisis, and who cannot claim benefits will be compensated. The government, Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) and Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) are working out the conditions.

 

Local measures

  • All businesses and self-employed people in Rotterdam will be granted a three-month postponement of payment of the municipal levies (OZB (property tax), waste disposal levy and sewerage levy, advertising and precario tax). This will happen automatically, and you don't have to do anything. All collection processes relating to these levies are also suspended for three months.
  • In line with the government decision, the municipality has also reduced the interest on late payments from 4% to 0.01%.
  • Suspension of BIZ (Business Investment Zone) tax: the imposition of all BIZ assessments for 2020 will be suspended for the time being. More information will follow as soon as this becomes clear.
  • Expansion of the capacity to provide information via Ondernemen010 and the Regionaal Bureau Zelfstandigen (self-employed persons) in order to provide you with the best possible information.
  • Through the Accelerate innovation for SMEs programme, we are working with the retail sector to find out how accelerated digitisation can be used to strengthen the resilience of the retail sector.
  • As long as the street trading in our markets has been suspended, the traders in question will not receive a bill for market money and electricity.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

Call the Tax Information Line

Since the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis is mostly only available 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.

It is also a good idea to ask someone - your accountant, for instance - to help you.

  • You can apply for a payment extension of 3 months for all your income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, and turnover tax (VAT) assessements at once, by filling out a special online form (in Dutch). You need a DigiD for this, but if you don't have one, you can ask an employee or a financial advisor to login for you, using their DigiD. You will need to fill out your RSIN number or your citizen service number (BSN), so keep these ready. The Dutch Tax Administration will put on hold any measures in place to collect payment immediately upon reception of your request.
  • You can now also apply for payment extension of several other taxes and duties: excise duty, landlord levy, environmental taxes, insurance premium tax and betting and lottery tax.
  • You will not have to pay any fines for late payment.
  • The normal collection interest rate for paying after the payment term has passed has been decreased temporarily to nearly 0%. This applies to all tax debts. The tax interest rate will also temporarily be set to the lowest possible percentage for all entrepreneurs.
  • The obligation for employers under the new Balance Employment Market Act, to report permanent employees' employment contracts before 1 April 2020, has been extended to 1 July 2020.
  • Under certain circumstances, you can apply for unblocking of your G-account. Read the conditions and find the form (in Dutch, under 'Deblokkeren g-rekening').

Read more about the Dutch Tax Administration measures to help entrepreneurs (in Dutch).

 

Do you expect lower profits due to the coronavirus, and are you currently paying a provisionary assessment for income tax or corporate income tax? You can change your provisionary assessment. If you want to change your income tax provisionary assessment, go to the online portal for individuals: MijnBelastingdienst (in Dutch); to change a corporate tax provisionary assessment go to the business portal: (in Dutch).

Tourist tax extension

If you run a tourist accommodation, like a hotel, B&B, or campsite, you can request an extension of the municipal tourist tax. You apply to the municipality where the accommodation is located.
 

Regional Water Authority tax

Are you unable to pay the water authority tax in time? Most Regional Water Authorities allow you to apply for a temporary extension of payment. It has also been made easier to apply for a payment arrangement. See the article on Regional Water Authority tax for more information.
 

Energy tax and Sustainable Energy Surcharge (ODE)

Energy suppliers can decide to grant you an extension on your monthly payments of energy tax and Sustainable Energy Surcharge (ODE) for the months April, May and June 2020. Not all energy suppliers will be able to implement this measure, and not all businesses are eligible. Contact your energy supplier to find out what applies to your situation.

FAQ's

Financial support

There is not enough money coming in as an effect of the corona crisis. You can apply for several emergency measures, depending on your type of business:

Entrepreneurs can request more details about the options available from the Chamber of Commerce Corona Desk.

Entrepreneurs who are affected by the coronavirus and employ staff can apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW,Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid). They can also request a postponement of payment for taxes or request a reduction in the provisional tax assessments from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). Or make use of the extended BMKB scheme (see the questions on BMKB-C). Self-employed professionals can apply for the extended financial benefit for self-employed professionals (Bbz).

This extension measure serves to increase the BMKB loan guarantee from 50% to 75%. Further, the programme can also be used for bridging loans and current account lines of credit with a term of up to 2 years.

In addition:

  • The individual entrepreneur’s personal guarantee is being reduced from 25% to 10%.
  • The credit element for the bank’s risk can be in the form of a new loan, a new current account credit (going overdrawn) or an increase in an existing current account credit.
  • The maximum amount of credit has been set at 1.5 million euros.
  • The repayment method is chosen by the bank. The options are:
    • linear (the same payment every time + interest over the outstanding sum), with an interest-only period if so agreed
    • lump sum, at the end of the term
  • When the BMKB-C is used, the test for a shortfall in security will not be applied.

To help business people who are affected by the corona crisis, the rules for the SME Credit Guarantee scheme (Dutch: Borgstelling MKB-kredieten, BMKB) have been relaxed. The amended scheme will be known as the BKMB-C and it will apply from 16 March onwards. The measure lets businesses borrow money from the banks under more favourable conditions e.g. to pay the bills and clear payment arrears.
Read more.

You do not apply for the scheme directly yourself, but you can ask an accredited financier to make use of it. That is generally your bank. The accredited financiers are listed on the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Dutch: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO). To speed up the procedure, the authorities have made agreements with the banks about the assessment of credit requests. They are therefore able to apply the BMKB-C without the intervention of the RVO.nl.

 

Yes. Self-employed professionals (zzp-ers) can make use of the BMKB if their legal business entity is a sole trader/proprietor, a general partnership (vof) or a private limited company (bv). Generally speaking however, zzp-ers have lower financing needs, and so do not often make use of this scheme.

A temporary scheme, available for at least 3 months, will help out entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals who have a viable business but are going through a rough patch. The provision is based on the financial support for self-employed professionals scheme (Bbz), but several requirements will be relaxed. Self-employed professionals can apply for support in the shape of additional livelihood support and/or a business capital loan. Read more about the special Bbz scheme here.

Self-employed professionals who want to make use of the scheme can apply at the municipality where they live. So, for instance, if you live in Aalsmeer but have your business in Amsterdam, you apply for the extra Bbz in Aalsmeer. Go to the website of your municipality, or call to find out how to apply where you live. Although the application process will be mostly the same everywhere, it is up to your municiaplity to provide details on where to send the application and how. Read more about the special Bbz scheme here.

No, this is considered part of an entrepreneur’s risk. The recommendation is to apply for it in case your business is forced to close. You can also take advantage of deferment of tax assessment payment to defer municipal tax payments. 

Under the €4,000 Compensation for affected sectors scheme, the government will award business sectors that have been hit hardest by the mandatory closing until 6 April a one-time compensation of €4,000. Businesses that qualify will be able to apply to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch) for the compensation.

The emergency package firstly consists of generic measures with regard to labor costs and liquidity support. In addition to this, there is this emergency package for entrepreneurs directly affected by government measures to combat the corona crisis. Speed is of the utmost importance, which is why a simple design with a fixed amount has been chosen.

You can notify RVO if you feel your company should be able to apply for the compensation, but your SBI code is not on the list. You can also notify RVO if your SBI code is incorrect or out-of-date. RVO will evaluate each case individually.

For your application for TOGS, you have to use the SBI code for your main activity.

You are an entrepreneur in one of the specified sectors with hardly any or no income, because of the measures taken by the government to fight the corona crisis. Your fixed costs continue, and it will be hard for you to make up for the lost income after the corona outbreak. You are, for instance:

  • a hospitality entrepreneur, who has been obliged to close
  • an entrepreneur in the cultural sector, where events are cancelled
  • an entrepreneur in the travel sector, affected by the travel ban
  • a personal care professional, like a hairdresser of beauty or nail salon

Based on your SBI code, you can check if you are eligible for the €4,000 compensation. This list will be updated if and when necessary. You cannot retroactively change your SBI code to qualify for this compensation scheme. Entrepreneurs with business premises at a different address than their home address are eligble to apply for the compensation scheme, with the exception of certain food and drink establishments. Check the conditions to find out who qualifies.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency strives to handle all applications within two to three weeks. Payment will take a further couple of days.

You apply to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, using the eLoket. You need eHerkenning (level 1) for this. Read more about the application process on the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. (in Dutch).

Employees

The Emergency Employment Bridging Fund Temporary Measure (NOW) is replacing the working hours reduction scheme (WTV). If you have already submitted a WTV request, it will be treated henceforth as a request under the new compensation arrangements. You do not have to do anything for this and you will be notified appropriately.

It is no longer possible to submit requests for WTV. This scheme has been discontinued because the WTV was not quick enough and was not properly applicable to the exceptional situation created by coronavirus. If you already had a working hours reduction agreement, it will remain valid. If you want to extend it, this will mean stepping over to the new scheme.

Employers can use the new arrangements to submit a request to the Employee Insurance Administration Agency (Dutch: UWV) for a ‘substantial contribution to wage costs’ and they will receive an advance payment for this from the UWV. This will allow employers to retain staff with both permanent and flexible contracts and to keep paying them. This also covers on-call staff. Temporary staffing agencies can ask for a contribution for temporary staff too. The compensation can be requested for 3 months in any event, with the option of extending it by a further 3 months (possibly with different conditions attached).

For more information, please go to the de website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Dutch: SZW).

If you have a question that you would prefer to ask by phone, businesses with questions about the Emergency Employment Bridging Fund Temporary Measure (NOW) can also call 0800-2117.

Read more.

Thanks to the Emergency Employment Bridging Fund Temporary Measure (Dutch: NOW), employers can retain staff with both permanent and flexible contracts and keep paying them. This also covers on-call staff. Temporary staffing agencies can ask for a contribution for temporary staff too. The compensation can be requested for 3 months in any event, with the option of extending it by a further 3 months (possibly with different conditions attached).

For more information about the Emergency Employment Bridging Fund Temporary Measure (NOW).

Information for startups

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 Netherlands Point of Entry advises all Netherlands Startup Visa holders to contact the RVO Startup Visa team irectly.

Use the TechLeap.nl COVID-19 Startup Guide to find information. Contact TechLeap.nl directly by filling out this form if you have any questions concerning your startup.

Deferment of payments

National measurement:

  • Deferred payment of tax: this may concern your income tax, corporation tax, VAT and payroll tax. See also local measures.

Local additions:

  • All businesses and self-employed people in Rotterdam will be granted a three-month postponement of payment of the municipal levies (OZB (property tax), waste disposal levy and sewerage levy, advertising and precario tax). This will happen automatically, and you don't have to do anything. All collection processes relating to these levies are also suspended for three months.
  • In line with the government decision, the municipality has also reduced the interest on late payments from 4% to 0.01%.
  • Suspension of BIZ (Business Investment Zone) tax: the imposition of all BIZ assessments for 2020 will be suspended for the time being. More information will follow as soon as this becomes clear.

All taxes imposed by the municipal taxes on a Chamber of Commerce number are exempt for 3 months. This also applies to self-employed persons who work from home.

Other questions

If you are in danger of losing your income, you can apply to your municipality for a temporary extra benefit under the extended financial support for self-employed professionals scheme (Bbz). The terms for application have been relaxed, to speed up the process. Also, the interest rate for loans has been decreased.

Self-employed professionals can also make use of the SME credit guarantee scheme, if their legal business structure is sole proprietor, general partnership (vof) or private limited company (bv).

Here are some measures you can take yourself when you find your company is in stormy weather:

  • Look for changes you could make to your business processes. Perhaps you could get deliveries from different suppliers, from other countries, or you could offer your services in a different region.
  • Do you have outstanding invoices? See if you can get these paid. Or you could try factoring, a type of credit where you ‘sell’ your outstanding invoices to a third party, and quickly get your money.
  • Discuss the possibility of a longer than usual payment term with your suppliers and other parties you owe money.
  • Look into external financing. Always ask your bank first (for instance a current account) before considering other financing options (also see: SME credit guarantee scheme).

Take care! Flash credits may seem a quick and easy way to get money, but they come at a price – usually a high one. Is your company in debt? Read this article to see what you can do about it.

All restaurants, bars and others in the horeca industry are closed from Sunday, 15 March at 6:00 pm until 20 May. That was announced during the special press conference on the Coronavirus.

Closings apply to all:

  • Restaurants, bars and other establishments that serve food, refreshments and/or drinks (even those where a permit is not required)
  • Catering areas inside a shop (such as a coffee corner in a bookshop)
  • Catering areas in cinemas and theatres
  • Community centres (catering area), playground associations (catering area), Market Hall (catering area)
  • Sex establishments, saunas and massage parlours (with and without a permit)
  • Gaming establishments
  • Markets are to be cancelled for the upcoming two weeks. If you have any questions, please contact the markets department via marktenstz@rotterdam.nl

The following facilities are open (with limited service):

  • ‘To go’ facilities such as the Kiosk at the train station
  • Home delivery / catering
  • Update 18 March 2020: Hotels may serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to their own guests only. The restaurant may open.
  • Update 17 March 2020: Meal pick-up and delivery are still permitted. Avoid crowds, make sure you are not too close to others and take your snack or meal home with you (do not eat it on site). You are not permitted to pick up or deliver bottles of wine.
  • Update 17 March 2020: Coffee shops can remain open for ‘to go’ orders.

Cancel orders where possible and make agreements about payments and payment terms. Contact your suppliers. The Dutch brewers have already informed us that they would like to work with us to find solutions and have stated that they will be flexible.

The government announced further stringent measures to protect the general health. Personal care professionals like hairdressers, beauty and nail salons are urgently requested to close until 20 May. If they decide to remain open in spite of this appeal, they have to take strict measures, like a door policy, to ensure that clients and workers keep at least 6 feet distance from each other, which is impossible in these professions. If they do not adhere to the 6 feet distance rule, they risk a fine of up to €4,000. Personal care entrepreneurs who decide to close until 20 May and experience income loss can apply for the compensation for affected sectors, which will become available soon.

Shops are required to take measures to ensure that people keep their distance, for example through a door policy. This means that customers will have to wait outside more often before they can enter.
If the 1.5 meter distance is not kept, the shops or a fine of up to 4,000 euros or even be closed.

The supermarkets have announced that they need more times to maintain the stock. Supermarkets may therefore also be temporarily supplied at night. This is reported by the Rijnmond Environmental Service, DCMR, which ensures that noise standards are not exceeded during the night hours. The DCMR will not be enforced during this crisis period.

Provisioning supermarkets near homes can be a nuisance. The DCMR asks companies to communicate well with the neighborhood and also to use quiet trucks. If complaints do arise, the DCMR will ask the reporters of the complaints for patience.

As long as street trading on our markets has been shut down, the entrepreneurs concerned will not receive an invoice for market money and electricity. Separate information will soon follow to our market vendors.

Discuss the problem with your lessor or mortgage lender. The government does not provide any options to help. Is it possible to agree to a lower rent? Is there a possibility to freeze rent payments for the period you must close your business? Can you suspend mortgage payments? There are many options available in mutual discussion. However, you are dependent upon the good will of a lessor or mortgage lender, but they may be willing to help.  After all, the lessor or mortgage lender derives no benefit at all from a bankrupt hotel, restaurant or caterer and a vacant business property.

Possible. For example, the government is in discussion with the culture sector, because the consequences of the corona virus are huge there to be. It is discussed which general measures can help the sector and where customization is required for self-employed persons and institutions, subsidized and commercial. In the coming days, the Municipality of Rotterdam will also consider whether and if so which other local measures are needed.

Entrepreneurs in these sectors are among those who are hit hard by the coronavirus crisis: the turnover loss they have is hard, if not impossible, to make up for. That is why the government is proposing to award businesses in these and other sectors affected by the corona crisis with a one-time compensation of €4,000. The terms for this compensation are yet to be announced. Businesses in these sectors are also eligible for the NOW scheme, as soon as it comes into effect, with retroactive effect from 1 March 2020.

Appeal to all entrepreneurs in Rotterdam:

The cabinet requires all shops, hardware stores and other companies where large numbers of customers can enter simultaneously to take measures to ensure that people keep their distance, for example through a door policy. If one is not able to do this, municipalities may close these locations.

We hereby appeal to entrepreneurs to regulate the number of people in their business premises in the interest of public health. All meetings are prohibited until 1 June, even with fewer than 100 people.


Accelerated claims for maintenance payments

As of 16 March, stricter measures will apply with regard to the coronavirus. Many entrepreneurs and self-employed people are experiencing acute financial problems as a result of these measures. From Wednesday 18 March, the Regionaal Bureau voor Zelfstandigen (RBZ) will therefore be working with an accelerated application procedure for a livelihood allowance. In general, RBZ will primarily focus on financial services for entrepreneurs in distress. This will be in effect until 6 April 2020.

Do you also want to be eligible for the accelerated application procedure for a maintenance allowance? Check the conditions on our separate page. On this page you will find the most up to date information. There, you can translate the page.


The Counter for Entrepreneurs

The Counter for Entrepreneurs (Ondernemersbalie) and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (Ondernemersplein) in Rotterdam are closed until 20 May. You may ask a question by sending an e-mail to the Counter for Entrepreneurs. You may also call them at 14010. Be aware that we currently have longer wait times than usual due to increased activity.

Contacting the Counter for entrepreneurs

email the Counter for entrepreneurs

telephone: 14010


National websites with information for entrepreneurs

Information for employers and employees
The Coronavirus and international business
Centre for Entrepreneurs
Chamber of Commerce Corona Desk

More information

All national information to help you prepare for the risks of the Coronavirus can be found in the Chamber of Commerce digital Centre for Entrepreneurs. Learn about the latest information with measures the municipality is taking on Rotterdam.nl.