Which support measures are available?

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Since the start of the corona crisis, many (social security, fiscal and other) support measures have cropped up. These include the nuisance premium, compensation premium, the bridging right and the recovery bridging right. The support premium was recently extended and the Flemish protection mechanism was set up. The principle of the commercial lease loan was also extended to the events industry.  Below we will list the main measures.

 

 

1.Subsidies

 

Nuisance premium (Flanders)

 

It is no longer possible to apply for the nuisance premium. Companies that are still required to remain closed (discotheques, dance halls, etc.) are still entitled to the closure premium of €160 per day until their physical location can be reopened following a decision by the Security Council.

 

The support premium (Flanders)

 

This premium is open to all companies that were eligible for the compensation premium as well as to companies that were able to benefit from the nuisance premium and have now reopened.

This premium is intended for companies that:

 

  • have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 60% in a period of 1 month from the reopening compared to a reference period last year or;
  • if they were allowed to remain open and faced a fall in turnover of at least 60% in the period from 1 May to 31 May as a result of the operating restrictions still in force imposed by the National Security Council.

In addition, the company must also have effectively restarted operations. The support premium amounts to 2,000 EUR (self-employed persons in secondary occupation 1,000 EUR).

 

This corona support premium can be applied for until the end of August 2020 at the latest.

 

The Flemish protection mechanism

The Flemish protection mechanism has been created to help companies with an operating seat in the Flemish Region, facing a decrease in turnover of at least 60% in the period from 1 August to 30 September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

 

The premium amounts to 7.5% of the turnover, excluding VAT, in the months of August and September 2019 and is limited to a maximum of EUR 15,000 per company.

 

Companies that are still forced to close down, such as discos, cannot use this protection mechanism as they still receive the nuisance premium of EUR 160 per day.

Online applications will be possible from October with a deadline of 15 November 2020.

 

Companies that were required to close down as from 29 July 2020 because of the coronation measures taken by the National Security Council can also apply for an advance payment of up to EUR 2,000. Applications have to be filed by 30 September 2020 at the latest via the Vlaio website.

 

 

2.Social security

 

Support for employers

 

Temporary unemployment

 

Employers that are considered to be 'severely affected' will still be able to use the more flexible corona system of temporary unemployment for the period from 1 September to 31 December 2020.  This is for employers who belong to a so-called 'severely affected industry', or who have used temporary unemployment for at least 20% of the total number of working days in the second quarter. At present, there is no list of severely affected industries. 

 

For those employers that are no longer eligible, a transition scheme has been put in place by changing the traditional system of temporary unemployment for economic reasons. Finally, the unchanged regular procedures for temporary unemployment for reasons of force majeure and economic reasons also remain in force. 

 

Support for the self-employed

 

Bridging right

 

For the months of September through December 2020, self-employed persons who are not yet (fully) allowed to restart their activities on government orders will continue to be able to make use of the more flexible bridging right. This includes discos, organisers of large-scale events, etc.

 

Self-employed workers who can demonstrate that they are forced to interrupt their activities because they are dependent on industries that are still required to close can also continue to make use of the more flexible bridging right.

 

The recovery-bridging right

 

Self-employed persons whose activity could still not take place on 3 May, but who have been allowed to restart and are still affected by the Corona virus, are eligible for the 'recovery-bridging right' for the months of September and October under certain conditions.

 

They must be able to demonstrate that their activity for the second quarter of 2020 shows a loss of turnover or a reduction in orders of at least 10% compared to the second quarter of 2019 for the month of September, and a reduction of 10% for the third quarter of 2019 compared to the third quarter of 2020 for the month of October.

 

 

3.Financial measures

 

Commercial lease loan (Flandres) 

 

Tenants who are struggling to pay their rent due to the corona crisis can apply for a commercial lease loan online.

 

Provided the landlord waives one or two months' rent, the Flemish Government will grant a loan to cover up to two months' rent. This is limited, however, to a maximum amount of EUR 35,000 per tenant. The commercial lease loan takes the form of a 2-year credit with an interest rate of 2% per annum and must be repaid in full no later than 24 months after the credit was granted.

 

Repayment, however, is not required to start until six months after the loan has been granted.

The scope of the measure is similar to that of the corona nuisance premium. In addition, since 17 August 2020, companies in the events industry are also eligible.

 

Click here for the schedule.

 

If you need help or advice in order to benefit from one of the above measures, we will gladly assist you.  You can contact us by phone at 051 26 82 68  or by sending an e-mail to info@titeca.be.