€7.6 billion pushed into more Covid support for NL businesses
The outgoing cabinet earmarked another 7.6 billion euros for expanding the support package to help Dutch businesses survive the coronavirus in the first and second quarters of this year. Businesses are in need of extra support as the coronavirus crisis and its accompanying lockdown and restrictions stretch on.
The biggest part of that amount, about half, is going towards extending the TVL scheme for reimbursing a large part of the fixed costs for businesses who suffered at least a 30 percent loss in turnover, NOS reports. The requirement of no more than 250 employees has been scraped, so larger businesses can now also apply. And the government is looking into how to help more smaller companies as well.
The maximum fixed costs compensation is increasing from 70 percent to 85 percent. How much is compensated depends on how much turnover a company lost. The maximum subsidy will increase from 90 thousand to 330 thousand euros for small- and medium-sized businesses, and from 750 euros to 1,500 euros for small companies. Large companies can get a maximum of 400 thousand euros.
The government is also extending and increasing the subsidy to cover retailers' stock that couldn't be sold because they had to close in the lockdown. A separate arrangement is being made for startups, who opened there businesses between January 1 and June 30, 2020. These new companies often did not qualify for support, because a lot of support is based on figures from before the pandemic. Companies that did not exist yet, or had not generated any turnover were therefore not eligible for aid.
The NOW subsidy to help struggling companies pay their employees' wages will increase from up to 80 percent to up to 85 percent of the wage bill - once again dependent on how much turnover a company lost. The TOZO income support for self-employed will continue, and a planned wealth test has been scrapped. The period that entrepreneurs can apply for tax deferment has been extended. And the government is talking to creditors and debt counselors about a more flexible approach to scrapping debts if a repayment scheme is not sufficient.
The support measures for amateur sports and the temporary coronavirus scheme for students will be extended until August. Students who incur a study delay due to the pandemic will receive a contribution towards their study costs. And students whose basic study grant or supplementary study grant expired will get extra financial support.
The cabinet is setting up a guarantee fund for events, so that organizers can start planning and setting up festivals for once it is safe to do so. The current hope is that this will be from July 1. The precise details are still being worked out, but at least 300 million euros has been reserved for this fund.
The government expects that working from home will be more the norm in the future, so it is working on tax measures that employers can use to reimburse the costs of a home office. This will likely somehow be linked with the existing travel allowances.