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COVID-19 Information for Businesses

The Netherlands is currently undergoing significant disruption, both socially and economically, due to the spread of the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel Coronavirus. Until April 6, most public buildings and services will be closed, and residents are urged to stay at home as much as possible. This, naturally, may cause difficulties for any business, whether small or large. Please see below a collated collection of resources and information that may assist your business through this difficult time.

The Dutch Government (Rijksoverheid)

On 15 March, the Dutch government took the decision to close all schools, childcare centres, bars, cafés, restaurants, sports clubs, and gyms. More information about the closures are available here. Schools will remain open for children of those who work in ‘crucial sectors’.

Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment

This is a scheme that is currently being finalised, to help employers pay their employees wages. Through the system, entrepreneurs will be able to claim up to 90% of wages back. More information here.

SME Credit Guarantee Scheme

This existing scheme has been lengthened to include the rest of 2020 and the start of 2021. In short, it works to secure bank guarantees (such as extending overdrafts) and bridging funds. More information here.

Business Loan Guarantee Scheme

Designed for larger businesses, this is a way for the Dutch government to guarantee 50% of any business loans for a maximum of 8 years, and with a maximum loan amount of 150 million euros. More information here.

Self-employed Temporary Benefits Scheme

Though the full details for this will be announced shortly, self-employed people may apply for extra financial support, which can be up to 1,500 euros per month (as a grant). Business capital loans with special low interest rates will also be available up to 10,157 euros. More information here.

Micro-loan Debt Relief

Any entrepreneur who has a loan through the micro-credit provider Qredits now has a 6-month ‘loan holiday’, and interest is being reduced to 2%. The Dutch government is underwriting the scheme.

Hospitality, Travel, Event Relief

Those whose companies work in the Hospitality, Travel and Event sectors will be given a compensation package including 4,000 euros. The final details are yet to be announced but more information is available on this page.

Tax assistance

Please note that the best way to find out which tax breaks your business is eligible for is to call the Tax Information Line at: T: +31 (0) 800 0543 or T: +31 (0) 55 538 53 85 (if using a non-Dutch telephone number)

Payment Extension/Deferral/Interest Cut

You can apply for an extension of your tax payments: once received the Tax Service (Belastingdienst) will immediately pause tax collection efforts for your company. Fines for late payment have been temporarily lifted, and proof of payment times have been extended. Extra interest on late payments has been cut to nearly 0%, whilst general interest rates are to be cut to as low as possible. Information on how to apply for these schemes is available here, but it may also be good to check with a tax adviser.

Reduction of Tax Assessment

If the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to affect your profits, but you have already submitted a provisional assessment with the Belastingdienst, you can now log-in to your MijnBelastingdienst or MijnBelastingdienstZakelijk and change the assessment to match new expected income and profit levels.


Kamer van Koophandel (
KvK)

Aside from highlighting the national government’s measures and schemes, the Kamer van Koophandel also highlights that there is to be a temporary assurance scheme for agricultural and horticultural companies, more information will be announced by the Dutch government in the near future.

Banks to lengthen overdrafts and finance options

The KvK notes that a number of banks have worked with the government’s agencies to provide an extension of financing of up to 2.5 million euros for 6 months. Participating banks include ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank; Volksbank, and Triodos Bank. For more information, contact your bank.

European Union Initiatives

In order to underpin SME’s, the European Central Bank (ECB), in concert with the EU, has made 37 Billion euros of liquidity available. The ECB will also make sell bonds and use its other powers to stimulate the European economy as a whole. More information is available through the ECB here. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is making 40 Billion euros available for businesses affected.

Normal measures for businesses in trouble

The KvK also notes that there are several options that would normally only be used when companies are in financial issues. These include options for invoicing, external financing, and if in an emergency, a super-quick loan via ‘Flitskrediet‘ (this will have a much higher interest rate).

KvK CoronaLoket Help-line

The KvK has a special help-line set up for entrepreneurs during the current outbreak. It is available between 08:00 and 20:00 each day for more information on the programmes and schemes set out above. T: +31 (0) 800 2117


More support and information from Government agencies

Gemeente Groningen

The Gemeente Groningen’s department of Economic Affairs has set up a page with information about who to speak to for more information.

Is your company financially impacted by the coronavirus measures? And do you have an invoice from the Gemeente Groningen that still needs to be paid? Then please contact the Gemeente at debiteuren@groningen.nl or 050-367 8000 for a tailor-made solution.

Information about Benefits for Self-Employed people in Groningen:
Please e-mail zelfstandigen@groningen.nl for a call-back

Information from Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland)

MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW are working together on an information desk for entrepreneurs with questions. It can be reached on T: +31 (0) 800 2117

Pointers for entrepreneurs affected by Coronavirus:  What to do if you have less work for your staff, no income as a self-employed person for the time being, or, for instance, you are not able to pay your taxes on time? Check out this summary.

Hotel and Catering

Aside from the above-mentioned government relief scheme, Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (the Dutch trade association for Hotels and Caterers) has set up a website with information for entrepreneurs in those sectors.

You can get in contact with KHN through two channels:

  • For general information: T: +31 (0) 348 48 94 89 or info@khn.nl
  • For COVID-19 specific information: T: +31 (0) 348 48 94 11 or corona@khn.nl

Invest in Holland (NFIA)

The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) also has an information page for information on the impact on business in the Netherlands of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

The RVO represents and supports entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. It has created a series of pages on doing business with various countries during the outbreak (in Dutch), which is available here.

The RVO is also available for questions on T: +31 (0) 88 042 42 42 or klantcontact@rvo.nl

N.V. NOM (Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands)

The N.V. NOM also have a list of useful links in English and Dutch on their webpage.

GrensInfoPunt

GrensInfoPunt has information for cross-border workers between the Netherlands and Germany or Belgium.

Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC)

The NBTC and Gastvrij Nederland have put information about the outbreak and tourism on a special page (in Dutch). They can also be contacted on T: +31 (0) 70 370 57 05 or nbtc@holland.com


Other Business Organisations

Yn Business (Organisation of Frisian Entrepreneurs)

Yn Business has launched a page especially for entrepreneurs in Friesland, which can be accessed here.

If you would like more information, you can contact various account managers, which are stratified by sector and problem:

For more general information you can also reach out to Yn Business via T: +31 (0) 58 760 0500 or info@ynbusiness.nl 

Zero-to-One (Start-up forum and federation in Emmen, Drenthe)

Zero-to-One is providing active support for entrepreneurs and stakeholders, and can be contacted via a form on its website.