We have finally been able to close the strange year 2020, hoping for a new year where entrepreneurship, freedoms and health are once again the pillars. Today, however, many companies are still facing the consequences of the Corona pandemic. In order to offer these companies financial support, the government is providing for the necessary measures in 2021. An overview ...
As of January 2021, the already existing bridging rights will be overhauled and replaced by new benefits: for example, a new bridging right due to decrease in turnover will be introduced, the relance bridging right will be abolished, and the bridging right due to mandatory closure will be tinkered with.
The bridging rights listed below cannot be combined within the same month, so one benefit must always be chosen.
First pillar - Bridging rights due to mandatory closure
The self-employed who are forced to close their doors as a result of the corona measures can appeal to this first pillar. Importantly, we distinguish between the months of January and February, and March.
For the months January and February: The existing scheme will be maintained for the months of January and February 2021, all self-employed workers who are obliged to close or are highly dependent on a sector that is compulsorily closed can benefit from the bridging right. In addition, these self-employed workers are still free to continue their activity in a limited way in the form of take-away, click&collect, ...
From MarchOnly companies that are closed down and that completely cease their activities will still be eligible for this bridging right. The compulsory closed companies that do still offer take-away, and the self-employed who are heavily dependent on a compulsory closed sector, will have to resort to the second pillar.
January and February: The amounts of the benefit continued to double for the months of January and February. The benefit amounts to 3,228.20 EUR with family burden, and 2,583.38 EUR without family burden.
March: The full benefit amounts to 1,614.10 EUR with family burden, and 1,291.69 EUR without family burden. Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who pay less contributions than a self-employed person in a main occupation can, under certain conditions, claim half the benefit.
It is also required that the mandatory closure last at least 15 consecutive days to be entitled to the full benefit. If the mandatory closure lasts less than 15 consecutive days, then one is only entitled to half the benefit.
Second pillar - Bridging rights due to loss of turnover
The self-employed who are facing a significant drop in turnover due to the corona crisis can apply for this second pillar. This bridging right can be applied for by the self-employed who, in the month prior to the application, 40% achieved less turnover than that same month in 2019. For self-employed persons who were not yet active in the 2019 reference month, the turnover figures of the next full calendar month can be taken into account.
This bridging right can be applied for by all self-employed people, including those who have never had to close compulsorily.
The full benefit amounts to 1,614.10 EUR with family burden, and 1,291.69 EUR without family burden. Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who pay less contributions than a self-employed person in a main occupation can, under certain conditions, claim half the benefit.
Third pillar - Bridging rights due to quarantine
Self-employed workers who must completely interrupt their activities for at least 7 consecutive days because of quarantine, or because their child must be quarantined and therefore cannot attend school or childcare, can enjoy a bridging right.
The amount of this bridging right depends on the duration of the interruption:
- If the quarantine lasts between 7 and 13 days: 403.53 euros (with family burden) or 322.92 euros (without family burden).
- If the quarantine lasts between 14 and 20 days: 807.05 euros (with family burden) or 645.84 euros (without family burden).
- If the quarantine lasts between 21 and 27 days: 1,210.58 euros (with family burden) or 968.77 euros (without family burden).
- If the quarantine lasts 28 days or longer: 1,1614.10 euros (with family burden) or 1,291.69 euros (without family burden).
Flemish protection mechanism 3
The Flemish Protection Mechanism was extended for the period from November 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Businesses and self-employed persons are eligible if they experienced a decrease in sales of at least 60% during the period due to the corona measures or were forced to close.
The support amounts to 10% of the turnover excluding VAT during the same period in 2019. Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation receive 5% of support. For companies that had not yet started in 2019, the decrease in turnover is compared to the expected turnover as stated in the financial plan.
An application can still be submitted until February 15, 2021 through the VLAIO website. The Flemish Protection Mechanism will also still be possible for the period January-February 2021.
The globalization premium
This year, the Flemish government is providing additional support for those companies that suffered exceptionally heavy sales losses in 2020.
The aid amounts to 10% of the turnover of the last three quarters of 2019, and can be applied for by the self-employed who faced a loss of turnover of at least 70% or 90% in the last three quarters of 2020. From that total amount, the support measures already paid (e.g. the nuisance, compensation and/or support premium and the Flemish protection mechanism) will be deducted.
For now, the maximum amounts to be paid out have been capped as follows:
|70% turnover loss||90% turnover loss|
|5-19 employees||€ 30.000||€ 50.000|
|20-49 employees||€ 100.000||€ 250.000|
|50-199 employees||€ 500.000||€ 1.000.000|
|200 & + employees||€ 1.000.000||€ 2.000.000|
The trade rental loan
In the mid-2020s, the Flemish government created the trade rental loan. The trade rent loan is based on a voluntary agreement between landlord and tenant whereby the landlord undertakes to waive one or two months' rent but is assured that the Flemish government will then advance several months' rent by means of a loan to the tenant.
As from 4 January 2021, the regulation will be slightly modified: from now on, the commercial lease loan will be a maximum of 4 months' rent instead of 2, with a maximum amount of EUR 60,000 per building. If several properties are rented, it is possible for tenants to obtain several commercial lease loans for which a maximum of EUR 150,000 can be borrowed. The commercial lease loan must be requested before March 1, 2021.
Protection from bankruptcy
There is still a moratorium on bankruptcies until January 31. This means that the company cannot be declared bankrupt, nor does the entrepreneur have to file for bankruptcy if he finds financial difficulties. In addition, current contracts cannot be terminated for non-payment and no attachment is possible. However, this moratorium is limited to companies that were/are compulsorily closed.
Support measures FPS finance
Companies that are hampered by the spread of the coronavirus can again apply for support measures (including an instalment plan, exemption from late payment interest and discharge of fines for non-payment) from the FPS Finance until 31.03.2021.
Postponement of payment Flemish Tax Administration
Individuals and companies are again given more time to pay a number of Flemish taxes, such as inheritance and gift tax and property tax and this until 30/04/2021.