Support for entrepreneurs during the coronavirus

Various entrepreneurs are experiencing the consequences of the measures relating to the coronavirus. Where possible, the Municipality of Groningen wants to support entrepreneurs.

(Last updated: Thursday 23 July 15:30 hrs)

Arrangements have been made at both national and local levels to help entrepreneurs get through these uncertain times. We will outline these below:

Financial arrangements

Province of Groningen 1.5-metre Scheme

The Province of Groningen has made a subsidy available to support small businesses and cultural and social institutions that have adapted their business in order to continue working in the 1.5-metre economy. The subsidy is intended for owners of enterprises with fewer than 50 employees in sectors such as the retail trade (excluding supermarkets, DIY stores, garden centres and online shops), inland shipping, leisure and hospitality. Cultural institutions such as museums and social institutions such as village halls and churches can also apply.

Temporary Bridging Scheme for Self-employed Entrepreneurs (Tozo)

Entrepreneurs who are going through a hard time due to the coronavirus might be able to claim benefit under this scheme.

To whom does this new scheme apply?

The extra temporary support for established entrepreneurs has been created to support self-employed entrepreneurs who are in trouble due to the coronavirus crisis. The government has made financial support available for them.

The government has made a moral appeal to entrepreneurs, asking them to register only if they find themselves in that situation. This will prevent the unintended use of public funds and avoid unnecessary pressure on implementation. More information: rijksoverheid.nl.

Carry out the check

Find out whether your industry qualifies on the website of the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO, the national body for Dutch enterprise).

Applying for Tozo

Do you think that you are eligible for this scheme? In that case, you can submit an application immediately. Our aim is to pay people an advance within 4 weeks after their application.

At the moment there are companies that offer entrepreneurs help to fill in Tozo-applications. Please note that these services usually cost money and can have financial consequences.

Questions?

If you have any other questions, please send an e-mail to zelfstandigen@groningen.nl. You will then be called as soon as possible.

Deferral of taxes

Entrepreneurs pay various types of local tax, such as accommodation tax and distribution and concession refunds on terraces. The Northern Tax Office (NBK) collects these taxes on behalf of the municipality of Groningen. An agreement has been made with the NBK to stop imposing new levies for the time being. In addition, deadlines for reminders that have already been sent will be dealt with leniently.

Employers who can demonstrate that they are encountering financial problems as a consequence of the coronavirus can receive a temporary deferment of payment for income tax. Corporation tax, turnover tax and income tax also do not have to be paid temporarily in that case. More information: belastingdienst.nl.

Acceleration of payments

The municipality is making every effort to accelerate payments to those parties to whom it owes money. In addition, the municipality is exercising leniency with respect to collecting from debtors who have been affected by the coronavirus measures. Do you have outstanding invoices payable to the Municipality of Groningen? In that case, contact us to arrange a solution for your specific case: email us at debiteuren@groningen.nl or call on 050 367 80 00 and select option 1.

Work for self-employed entrepreneurs and flex workers

The municipality engages the services of self-employed entrepreneurs and hires flex workers. Arrangements are being made to ensure that they suffer as little loss as possible.

  • The municipality shifts orders where possible, and pays part of the fee in advance.
  • If work done by the self-employed and flex workers cannot be shifted, the municipality investigates other ways in which it can provide support, in addition to the arrangements already made by the national government.

Postponement of rental payments for municipal property

The municipality rents out its property to various interest groups, ranging from social, cultural and welfare organisations to entrepreneurs and residents of municipal housing. Parties who rent municipal property and who depend on third parties for their income may be affected by the coronavirus measures.

Where necessary and at the request of the tenant, the municipality is granting deferral of payment of rental obligations for municipal property, provisionally for a maximum period of three months. The municipality will consult with sporting associations about how to deal with the current situation.

If you have any queries, please send an e-mail to vastgoedbedrijf@groningen.nl

Advance payment of subsidy

For organisations that receive subsidies from the municipality and find themselves in financial trouble, the municipality is offering the option of paying out these subsidies in advance.

Performance requirements for subsidised organisations

We are taking a more lenient approach with respect to performance requirements for subsidised organisations. This applies to organisations that carry out activities that cannot take place as a result of the coronavirus measures.

Refund of fees for cancelled events

Various events have been scheduled for the period leading up to and including 1 June, and these can no longer take place due to the coronavirus measures. The municipality will reimburse the fees already paid for these events, such as the cost of event permits or tap waivers and other exemptions.

SME credit guarantee scheme

Businesses can make use of the SME credit guarantee scheme to obtain bridging credit or to increase their current account credit, that is, the amount that they are allowed to be ‘in the red’. This extension is essential for helping smaller entrepreneurs to remain solvent. The scheme has been in place since 16 March. This extension is part of the government’s measures to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus. More information: rvo.nl.

NOW: contribution to wage costs

The Temporary Emergency Employment Bridging Measure (NOW) scheme provides a contribution towards wage costs for companies who generate at least 20% less revenue between June and the end of September 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Starting on 6 July, applications can be made for NOW 2.0, with updated conditions.

For more information, please visit the Chamber of Commerce website or the Central government website.

Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs

Starting on Tuesday 30 June 2020, SME entrepreneurs who are directly affected by the various coronavirus measures can apply for the Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs (TVL). Depending on the size of the company, the amount of the fixed costs and the degree of loss of revenue, businesses will receive an allowance for their fixed costs up to a maximum of € 50,000 for the period of June to September 2020. For more information, visit the Central government website.

Business loan guarantee scheme coronavirus outbreak (Garantie Ondernemingsfinanciering uitbraak coronavirus, GO-C)

Do you need credit, but are you unable to get a bank loan or bank guarantee easily due to the current coronavirus crisis?

The government is making this easier with the specific facility that is available as a result of the coronavirus crisis: the Business loan guarantee scheme coronavirus outbreak (Garantie Ondernemingsfinanciering uitbraak coronavirus, GO-C). Your bank can receive an 80% or 90% government guarantee on medium and large loans, thus reducing its risk. The GO-C maintains credit flows so businesses can keep doing business.

The scheme is for medium-sized and large businesses with substantial activities in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is responsible for the implementation. Please see rvo.nl.
Read more about the application process at rvo.nl

Impulsloket

The Impulsloket is for residents from the province of Groningen. It's a subsidy scheme for associations, cooperatives, foundations and small entrepreneurs with a good idea that requires a slightly larger investment.
Read more about the Impulsloket at nationaalprogrammagroningen.nl/meedoen/impulsloket.

Other measures

There are no more longer opening times. Look for regular openingtimes: https://gemeente.groningen.nl/winkeltijden-in-de-gemeente-groningen

Appeal to external parties and consumers

The Municipal Executive is taking care of its responsibilities with the measures outlined above. However, it also wishes to issue an appeal to external parties and consumers with respect to the following matters:

  • For many entrepreneurs, their bank or landlord represents a large expense. The municipality is calling on banks and real estate parties to spare their tenants or debtors with respect to these expenses.
  • Many flex workers are dependent upon their client. The municipality calls on parties to make use of opportunities that enable them to keep their temporary employees working.
  • Not everyone is affected by the coronavirus measures. The municipality calls on consumers to continue to buy locally (including online) and support local SMEs.

Help for SMEs with doing business online during the coronavirus crisis

Since the end of April, SME entrepreneurs can receive help with doing business online from the Helpdesk Online ondernemen (Doing Business Online Help Desk) or the Werkplaats Online Ondernemen (Doing Business Online Workshop). SME entrepreneurs can contact the help desk with practical questions about their website, webshop, tools and approach, but also with more marketing-oriented questions, such as how do I reach my customers or new customers now? Depending on the questions, concrete support can be provided thereafter. Students, online experts (companies) and employees from the Werkplaats Online Ondernemen will then offer help or you will be referred to those companies.

Questions and answers will be made available via the website of the Werkplaats Online Ondernemen woo-groningen.nl. In addition, webinars and online consultation hours will be organised in response to frequently asked questions. The Helpdesk Online ondernemen is available by telephone via 050 – 5956800. It is also possible to ask questions via woo-groningen.nl.

Werkplaats Online Ondernemen

The Werkplaats Online Ondernemen Groningen (WOO Groningen) is an initiative of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Noorderpoort and the University of Groningen within the framework of the Versnellingsagenda Digitalisering MKB (SME Digitalisation Acceleration Agenda) of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in cooperation with Rabobank and various (online) businesses. The workshop is co-funded by the province and municipality of Groningen.

WOO Groningen works together closely with other (innovation) workshops  – Digital Society Hub (DSH), Groninger Digital Business Centre (RUG/GDBC) and Kasteel.Gro/Werkplaats voor Digitaal Vakmanschap (Workshop for Digital Professionalism).
For more information: woo-groningen.nl

More information

General info and national information number

  • The government’s Emergency Package infographic for jobs and the economy provides and up-to-date overview of all temporary financial schemes.
  • The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland) have opened an office together with the Chamber of Commerce, for entrepreneurs with questions. The office can be reached via kvk.nl/coronaloket Please first read the information available on the site. If you still have any queries, please call 0800 2117. Staff are available on workdays between 08:30 and 17:00.
  • The government has opened a national crisis number for all questions about the coronavirus, 0800-1351. This number is available every day between 08:00 and 20:00. You can call 0031 20 205 1351 from abroad.

More information:

You will find frequently asked questions on the website of the:

Hotel and catering entrepreneurs

Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (Dutch trade association for the hotel and catering industry) has set up its website specially for hotel and catering entrepreneurs to provide information in relation to the current hotel and catering measures. See also: khn.nl.

Retail entrepreneurs

Especially for our retailers, Koninklijke InRetail (the trade association for non-food retail in the Netherlands) has also set up its website to provide coronavirus-related news: inretail.nl.

Doing business abroad

What consequences will the coronavirus have for you if you are doing business internationally? More information can be found at: rvo.nl.

Tourism

Coordinated by Gastvrij Nederland, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) is going to set to work as soon as possible on limiting the impact of the coronavirus on the visitor economy as much as possible and to restore it at an accelerated rate wherever and whenever possible. See also: nbtc.nl.

Creative and cultural sector

The municipality of Groningen has a support package for cultural institutions that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Self-employed entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural sector can also turn to the national institutions:

  • Vereniging voor Kunst, Cultuur en Erfgoed (Association for Art, Culture and Heritage): Kunsten '92
  • Kenniscentrum voor ondernemerschap in de cultuursector (Knowledge centre for entrepreneurship in the culture sector): Stichting Cultuur + Ondernemen (Culture + Entrepreneurship Foundation)
  • Stichting Cultuur + Ondernemen / Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur & Wetenschap (Culture + Entrepreneurship Foundation / Ministry of Education, Culture and Science): Cultuur Opstart Lening (Culture Start-up Loan)
  • Support for thinking and development space for artistic research: Het Cultuurfonds (Cultural Fund)

Contact

Should you not be able to find any answers to your questions on the basis of the information above, feel free to contact us through an account manager or via the Economic Affairs department.