The demand for bus, coach and cab transport has fallen heavily as a result of the corona crisis. It is important that these sectors can continue to play their role in the transport system in the future. Therefore, at the Council of Ministers on July 10, 2020, the Flemish Government provided a series of support measures in the form of subsidies and bridging loans that should allow these sectors to survive the crisis period.
These support measures are intended to intervene in the fixed costs that the sector must continue to bear at a time when turnover fell by more than 80% (bus and coach) or even 90% (cab sector). Vehicles are the main fixed cost for these sectors.
Therefore, the support measures are based on the purchase price of the buses and coaches or, for the cab companies, the size of the fleet.
The buses that run on behalf of De Lijn do not qualify for these support measures given the separate arrangement that was made with VVM De Lijn. This also applies to the buses that are used for rides in the framework of special education (cooperation Education - De Lijn) as well as the buses that could permanently be used for transporting company personnel. Finally, the vehicles intended for transporting the sick are also affected.
1. Subsidy for bus and coach sector
A subsidy budget of 15,540,000 € is provided for the bus and coach sector. The subsidy is calculated based on the purchase value of vehicles used for special regular transport and occasional transport.
Upon approval of the grant application, an initial grant instalment in the amount of 1% of the purchase values of eligible buses and coaches will be paid.
After the application deadline (August 31, 2020) and the disbursement of the first grant instalments, the remaining available grant budget will be allocated evenly to the applicant companies based on the purchase values of the eligible buses and coaches.
This grant falls under the "de minimis" rule which stipulates that an enterprise may not be granted more than 200,000 € "de minimis" aid in the last three years (the current and two previous financial years). Thus, the grant will not exceed 200,000 € or less depending on whether the enterprise has already received other "de minimis" aid (e.g., SME Portfolio or SME Growth Grant) in the reference period.
2. Bridging credit for bus, coach and cab industry
Most companies in the bus, coach, and cab sectors are currently unable to avail themselves of the PMV/z subordinated coronal loan. Indeed, due to the reduced demand for their services, they are not yet able to meet the employment condition (return to minimum 80% employment or remove minimum 50% of the workforce from temporary unemployment) for this loan. Moreover, the minimum loan amount of €25,000 is too high for smaller companies in these sectors. Rather, they need loans between €5,000 and €25,000 to cope with the economic impact of the corona crisis.
Therefore, PMV/z will offer, in the name and on behalf of the Flemish Region, a subordinated loan to the companies of these sectors at the following conditions:
- Duration : 3 years.
- Interest to be charged : 3%
- Interest at the end of the loan to be paid
- Choice to start capital repayment from the second year or to make capital repayment in full at the end of the loan
The maximum amount of credit is determined based on the value of the vehicle fleet :
- For bus and coach enterprises : 1.5% of the purchase value of eligible vehicles.
- For cab companies : 2,000 euros per eligible vehicle
Based on this maximum credit amount, the company can decide for which amount it wishes to take out a subordinated loan. If the company opts for an amount of 25,000 € or more, it is referred to the subordinated coronal loan. If the company opts for a credit amount of less than 25,000 EUR and at least 5,000 EUR, PMV/z will offer a subordinated loan for that amount in the name and on behalf of the Flemish Region.
This bridge loan is also covered by the "de minimis" rule.
3. How to apply.
Companies wishing to qualify for these support measures must, at the latest by August 31, 2020 Submit an application via https://www.coronasteun-ta.mow.vlaanderen.be.
What information needs to be provided for this purpose can be determined for the bus and coach sector be found on https://www.vlaanderen.be/coronasteun-premie-en-lening-voor-autobus-en-autocarsector and for the cab industry at https://www.vlaanderen.be/coronasteun-lening-voor-taxisector .
If you have any questions about this support measure, please do not hesitate to contact your client manager or our subsidy expert directly. You can always reach us via the number 051 26 82 68 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.