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Tightened measures again require expanded support

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Last Friday, the entire country was placed on alert level 4 of the COVID-19 barometer. Following this, the Interfederal Consultative Committee imposed additional stringent measures. Because these strict measures have a serious impact on economic life and the functioning of businesses, the various governments have provided a series of comprehensive support measures. The following issues are on the table.



Bridging rights for the self-employed

For the self-employed who are forced to close their doors, a doubling of the bridging right is provided (so not only the catering industry but also the sectors that were and are not allowed to open their doors until now):

  • Self-employed persons with family burdens will claim EUR 3,226.00/month.
  • Self-employed persons without a family burden will be entitled to EUR 2,583.00/month


Extension of reliance benefit

For the self-employed who do not have to close their business but who suffer a significant loss of turnover, an extension of the bridging right until the end of December is provided, without doubling the amount of the benefit for them. Specifically, they must be able to demonstrate that their activity shows a decrease of at least 10% in their turnover or orders in the quarter preceding the month in question compared to the same quarter of the previous year.


Waiver of social contributions

For those companies and self-employed persons who are required to close their business, an exemption from self-employment social security contributions and NSSO employer contributions is provided for the third quarter of 2020. Contributions already paid for quarter three will be refunded in full.


Payment of end-of-year premiums

The Federal Government guarantees that staff members who have been on technical unemployment will receive an end-of-year bonus. In addition, the Federal Government would be responsible for financing the end-of-year bonus of staff members in the catering companies who have to close down as a result of the corona measures.


Extension of payment deferrals and installment plans

Companies can continue to rely on the individual deferral of payment of social security contributions, VAT and withholding tax until at least the end of the year.



Expansion of the Flemish Support Mechanism

All Flemish companies who have a loss of turnover of at least 60% compared to the reference period (October 1 to November 15) of last year, can count on a premium of 10% of their turnover then. The maximum amount of the premium is 11,250 euros. This maximum amount is increased to EUR 22,500 for companies with a staff of 10 or more.



Closing premium 3,000 euros

Brussels restaurants can now also apply for the lump-sum premium of EUR 3,000.00 that Brussels cafes were already entitled to. A maximum of five premiums are granted per business


Additional closing premium 2,000 euros

In addition to the 3,000 euro premium, the Brussels municipalities each provide additional premiums separately. The City of Brussels grants an additional premium of 2,000 euros to nightclubs, bars and cafes that must close for one month from October 8, 2020.



Walloon Support Mechanism

Self-employed persons/companies that can account for a loss of sales of at least 60% in the 3rd quarter of 2020 (compared to the same period in 2019) will receive compensation of 15% of sales with the following maximum caps between €3,000 (0 FTE) and €24,000 (>50 FTE).


Closing premium 3,500 euros

As a result of the imposed closure, catering businesses without employees would be entitled to an additional premium of 3,500 euros. For larger catering establishments, the amount could rise to 10,000 euros.


You can find a complete overview of the aforementioned support measures at here retrieve.

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