Most Covid financial programs for businesses to end April 1
The government's coronavirus support package will stop on April 1. The support schemes that compensated companies' wage costs (NOW) and fixed costs (TVL) and deferred their tax payments are being discontinued. The special scheme for self-employed is also being scrapped, the Cabinet reported.
Entrepreneurs who suffered at least a 30 percent loss of turnover in the first quarter can apply for the last round of the TVL subsidy from Monday. The online counter at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency will open at 9:00 a.m. and will remain open until the end of March. Entrepreneurs can use the first quarter of 2020 or 2019 as a comparison to show that they lost at least 30 percent in turnover.
According to the Cabinet, the schemes have contributed to the economy returning to "full speed" and exceptionally low unemployment. The aid would no longer be necessary because contact-restricting measures are no longer in force. In addition, schemes that keep non-viable companies going disrupt the labor market because people no longer switch to jobs in places "where they are needed more," the Cabinet said.
The guarantee schemes for events - the KKC, GO-C, and BMKB-C - will continue to exist. Bridging loans from Qredits will end in July, as well as specific loan schemes for culture and monuments. Because the coronavirus will remain in society for the foreseeable future, the Cabinet will present a long-term plan for the debts that entrepreneurs have built up next month. The Cabinet is looking for "a healthy balance in society between risks for the government and entrepreneurs."
The government pointed out that the Central Planning Office (CPB) and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) had warned that the generic support measures are not good for the Netherlands and the Dutch economy in the longer term.
Not all catering entrepreneurs can return to "full speed" immediately now that most of the coronavirus restrictions have been abolished, hospitality association KHN said after the Cabinet's announcement that support would cease on April 1. According to the association, it is essential that the Cabinet comes up with a plan to help entrepreneurs survive in the coming years.
KHN is pleased that life is returning to the catering sector, and entrepreneurs no longer have to depend on direct compensation from the government now that restaurants, cafes, and bars are allowed to open again fully, and indoor locations with more than 500 visitors can open with Covid-19 testing for access. But the longer-term problems are not yet gone, the association expects.
"For example, it will be years before inbound tourism and the business market will recover," said a spokeswoman. Many companies' financial position is also poor due to forced closures, and they face a mountain of debt. According to KHN, entrepreneurs in the sector would benefit from help in the form of debt restructuring, a transition fund, or a stoppage scheme for entrepreneurs who no longer see a future for their bar, restaurant, or hotel due to the crisis.
Reporting by ANP.