The coronavirus and your company: Dutch government measures to help businesses

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Government.nl | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

The coronavirus COVID-19, and the measures taken to restrict the spreading of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, mean significant loss of turnover for many businesses. This article lists the measures the Dutch government is taking to help entrepreneurs affected by the crisis. Check this page regularly for updates.

New national measures

Due to the recent surge in corona cases, new national measures are in place. The new rules in short:

  • All bars, cafes, restaurants and other locations that serve food and drinks are closed. You may offer takeaways.
  • No events allowed (with some exceptions).
  • No alcohol sales after 20:00 hours.
  • Hotels: after 20:00 hours, serving and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in hotel restaurants and bars.
  • Shops to close at 20:00 hours, except supermarkets and food stores.
  • Inside venues: no more than 30 persons.
  • No more than 4 persons from different households may gather, either inside (except at home) or outside.
  • Sports activities limited, and no spectators.
  • Face masks will be compulsory for public spaces. The cabinet is working out the details.
  • A roadmap has been launched to detail the necessary measures, according to the gravity of the situation (also available in French and German).

Rules and protocols for businesses

Check the rules for your business sector in these articles. The rules and protocols have been drawn up by the government together with the sector organisations.

Third set of financial measures announced

On 1 October, the third set of economic support measures for businesses affected by the corona crisis comes into place. Several existing measures, such as NOW, Tozo and TVL have been extended, with new conditions. As yet, it is not possible to apply for NOW 3 or Tozo 3. Read the details in the article Third set of corona support measures.

  • NOW3: Employers with more than 20% turnover loss will be able to apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW,Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud) to receive compensation of their employees' wages from October 2020 - July 2021. NOW1 and NOW2 are now closed. NOW 3 is expected to open on 16 November.
  • Tozo3 and 4: Self-employed professionals will be able to apply for Tozo, the temporary benefit to bridge the loss of income over the months October 2020 - July 2021 in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality when you can apply.
  • TVL: The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs aims to compensate SMEs for fixed costs other than wage costs. For the period 1 October - 31 December 2020, all SMEs regardless of their SBI code can apply (except financial service providers). After 1 January 2021, TVL is available for selected sectors. You can apply for TVL once every 3 months, until 1 July 2021.
  • Extra TVL support for hospitality businesses: Hospitality businesses that have had to close due to the second corona wave will be able to apply for an extra compensation on top of the TVL in the 4th quarter of 2020. Details will be announced later.
  • Extra TVL support for events businesses and their suppliers: Events businesses and their suppliers that applied for TVL during the 3rd quarter of 2020 will receive a one-off extra reimbursement for turnover loss. The exact terms and conditions for this compensation are yet to be announced.
  • Extra support for the cultural sector: The government allots €454 million to providing extra support for cultural organisations and events.
  • SET: Caregivers can apply for the special corona-related Incentive scheme eHealth at Home: SET COVID-19 2.0. The available funds are for care providers who invest in a structural setup for digital care. The scheme runs from 27 July - 30 November (unless funds run out sooner).

Help for employers and employees

  • Read the article Employer during the corona crisis to find out what you can and must do to keep the workplace safe.
  • NL Werkt Door: Employers can use the NLWerktDoor! (The Netherlands keeps on working) website to offer or look for temporary employees on loan. The scheme was set up by the Employee Insurance Agency UWV, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, several municipalities, employers, and trade unions.
  • NL Leert Door: On 1 August, the government launched a temporary support scheme NL Leert Door (The Netherlands keeps on learning) for the career development and training of anyone, working or not, from age 18 to retirement. On the hoewerktnederland.nl website, you will be able to find free online courses and self-development advice. The first stage of NL Leert Door, the free-of-charge advice program applications, has now reached its limit of 22,000 applicants and is closed.

Credits and guarantees

  • BMKB-C: From 16 March 2020 to 31 December 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme is extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing.
  • BL-C: For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).
  • COL: Startups and scale-ups can apply for the 'Corona-Overbruggingslening' (Corona Bridging Loan or COL) via the Techleap.nl website. Regional Development Companies (ROMs) supply the loans, that vary between €50,000 and €2 million.
  • GO: The Business loan guarantee scheme (GO) has been extended until 30 June 2021.
  • Microcredit: 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.
  • Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (KKC): SMEs with relatively small financial needs may be eligible for a bridging loan of up to €50,000 under the Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (Klein Krediet Corona garantieregeling or KKC). This credit measure has been extended until 30 June 2021.
  • Tozo3 and 4: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, a loan to bridge the loss of income over the months October 2020 - July 2021 in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality when you can apply.
  • Tozo for entrepreneurs living abroad: If your company is in the Netherlands, but you live abroad (in the EER or Switzerland), you can apply to the municipality of Maastricht for a business loan.
  • Growth Facility Scheme: The intended phasing out of the Growth Facility Scheme has been extended to 1 July 2021.
  • Proof-of-concept funding: Businesses that make use of the Proof-of-concept funding scheme (VFF) or the Innovation credit scheme (IK) can apply for a repayment extension. Also, no interest will be levied on the VFF.
  • Export credit insurance: The government has extended the export credit insurance facility.
  • DTIF: The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) has been extended to include pre-delivery advances.
  • Temporary support for local media: New budget has been allocated for the Temporary Support for Local Media scheme. Applications can now be submitted for the period 15 September - 15 December.

Expected measure: TOA

The new WHOA Act will help businesses that are threatened by bankruptcy to reach agreements with their creditors. Because the WHOA only comes into effect on 1 January 2021, the government has announced the Time-Out Arrangement or TOA as a bridging measure. Businesses will be able to reach agreements with their creditors and go into a temporary suspension of business, or time-out, to enable them to find funds to pay off debts and restart their business when circumstances are more favourable. See also Bankruptcy: private agreement to become possible.

Expired measures:

  • TOGS: The Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) expired on 26 June. It is replaced by the TVL scheme.
  • Compensation for turnover loss for horticultural businesses and potato farmers: Horticultural businesses (food and ornamental) and farmers who produce processing potatoes could claim compensation for part of their turnover loss until 18 June.
  • Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS): The Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS) was made available sooner. It closed 15 April.
  • TOFA: The Temporary Bridging measure for Flex Workers or TOFA compensates flex workers that have been laid off after 1 March due to the corona crisis, and who cannot claim benefits. Application at the UWV closed on 27 July.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

The Dutch Tax Administration has taken several measures to help entrepreneurs. Are you having difficulty repaying taxes or bank loans? There are also possibilities for payment and tax and loan repayment extensions.

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 first 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.

Several municipal and regional taxes have also been extended:

Tools

If you need help finding out for which scheme you are eligible, try using one of the following tools:

  • The Corona Calculator: employers organisation VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland have prepared this tool to help you find the schemes you're eligible for, and calculate their impact on your financial position. In Dutch.
  • Krijgiktozo: a tool to see if you are eligible for the temporary benefit for self-employed professionals Tozo. In Dutch.
  • Rekenhulp omzetverlies (Turnover loss calculator): this tool helps you find if if you qualify for the NOW scheme. In Dutch.

Rules for businesses

There are rules in place for several types of businesses, to which they have to adhere to keep the coronavirus in check. Read this article to find out more about which rules apply to which sector.

Coaching by Entrepreneurs Sounding Board

The Foundation Entrepreneurs Sounding Board (Stichting Ondernemersklankbord, OKB) offers free coaching to SMEs that have been affected by the corona crisis. Read how to apply.
To protect your employees, your clients, and yourself, follow the RIVM advice:
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
  • Use paper tissues
  • Don't shake hands
  • Keep at least 6 feet distance from each other

General health measures

  • People must work from home, unless it is vital that you work on site.
  • When indoors in a public place, wear a face mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Everyone in the Netherlands who has symptoms of COVID-19 can apply for a test. If you or one of your employees starts having complaints that correspond with the coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and apply for a test. If you test positive, aid the GGD with their contact tracing.
  • Safety regions can impose rules on top of the national ones, to address specific risks in their area. Find your safety region (in Dutch) to find out if additional rules apply.
  • There are travel restrictions in place for travel into the Netherlands for most non-EEA countries. These can be lifted or re-instated for individual countries, according to the current situation there. The restrictions apply to travellers without valid residence permits or visa. An exception to the ban is in place for food, medicine and medical equipment transports. Certain types of travellers are also exempt from the ban, see Government.nl for a list. For full and up to date details on who is and who is not allowed to travel into the Netherlands, check the Government.nl Visiting the Netherlands page.

Information and advice

You can turn to these organisations for further information and advice:

General health

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM

Government.nl

Business

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Coronaloket

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

TechLeap.nl

Travel / immigration /emigration

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

The Netherlands and You

International resources

European Commission

World Health Organization (WHO)

FME, technology sector organisation

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Government.nl
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO