Can I get compensation if my business suffers losses has to close?

A large number of independent entrepreneurs may face financial problems due to loss of income as a result of the coronavirus measures. The Dutch, Belgian and German governments have created support packages for self-employed persons which include financial compensation. How this works is explained below.   

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Flemish government has introduced a number of financial support schemes for business owners in Flanders. The schemes, run by the Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), provide a fixed compensation payment for businesses experiencing a loss of turnover. 

  • As a business owner, you could apply for the following: the compensation payment for mandatory closure of business (corona hinderpremie), the corona compensation payment (compensatiepremium) and the corona support payment (corona ondersteuningspremie). 
  • If your turnover went down by 60% or more in August and September 2020, you can apply for support under one of the Flemish protection schemes. 
  • If your turnover went down by 60% or more between 1 October and 15 November 2020, you will soon be able to apply for a new compensation payment. 

For the most up-to-date information on financial support for business owners in Flanders, go to VLAIO.be.

Businesses that are facing financial difficulties or insolvency as a result of the coronavirus measures are being given extra help to stay afloat. Insolvency filings have been suspended until 30 September 2020. During a transitional period of three months, creditors will only have a limited right to request the opening of insolvency proceedings.

The German government has set up a support scheme for businesses that have run into financial difficulties due to the coronavirus measures. The following support is offered:

  • flexible reduction of working hours
  • fiscal liquidity support for businesses.
  • a protective shield for businesses worth many billions of euros
  • strengthening of European cohesion

Some German Federal States have introduced additional support measures for the self-employed. 

  • Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
    Entrepreneurs based in Niedersachsen can get a fixed amount, depending on the number of employees. For example, an enterprise with less than 5 employees can get €3,000. 
  • Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia; NRW)
    Entrepreneurs based in NRW can get a one-off, non-repayable subsidy, the amount of which depends on the number of employees. For example, an enterprise with less than 5 employees can get €9,000.

For more information about additional support measures in the different Federal States see the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesfinanzministerium). 

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dutch government has introduced two financial support schemes for business owners in the Netherlands. The schemes are run by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). 

  • For example, you could apply for a one-off compensation payment of €4,000 under the TOGS scheme (Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in sectors affected by COVID-19). 
  • For the period from 1 June to 30 September 2020, you can apply for Reimbursement of Fixed Costs for SMEs (TVL). Applications can be submitted until 30 October. If you have suffered loss of turnover of 30% or more as a result of COVID-19, you can qualify for a tax-free payment of up to €50,000 under the TVL scheme. 
  • You can also apply for reimbursement of fixed costs under the TVL scheme for the period from 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021. NB: you have to submit a new application for each quarter. 

For the most up-to-date information on financial support for business owners, go to RVO.nl.