We will continue to follow the corona support measures closely for you. Below are the main updates of this week. For a more comprehensive overview, please refer to our schedule.
1. Payment deferral for entrepreneurial loans is extended once more
The banking sector could not lag behind in making an extra effort to guide companies through the corona crisis. Shortly after the Finance Minister's statement that the tax authorities will not collect tax debts until early April, the banking sector is also providing some commitment.
On the one hand, the 9-month payment deferral scheme for business loans is extended until June 30, 2021 (second charter). Companies that still wish to take advantage of this scheme can do so by submitting an application to their bank by the end of March.
On the other hand, companies, which have already fully exhausted the 9 month payment extension, are granted an additional payment extension on top of the 9 month. This payment extension is valid until June 30, 2021 and can only be requested for credits that were granted before April 1, 2020. In addition to the conditions that applied in the second charter, the company must also meet the definition of a "healthy" company in order to benefit from this additional payment deferral. How a bank will qualify a company as a healthy company is further explained in the charter itself. The payment extension is never granted automatically. Anyone who wants to make use of this as an entrepreneur is asked to contact his or her bank no later than 10 calendar days before the next expiration date of the credit.
However, as a company one should be aware of the fact that at present it is not clear what the impact of this extra payment postponement will be on further credit granting. Under European regulations, a bank may not, in principle, grant more than nine months' postponement. By doing so, the bank acknowledges that it is taking a higher risk on these credits and must therefore build up additional reserves. It is therefore possible that the company may have difficulties for a certain period in obtaining additional financing. The practical effect and consequences of this will become clear in the coming weeks.
More information is available at https://www.febelfin.be/nl/artikel/derde-charter-betalingsuitstel-ondernemingskredieten
2.Flemish Protection Mechanism 4 to apply for as from 16/02
The Flemish Protection Mechanism 4 for companies and self-employed persons who suffered at least 60% loss of turnover or were compulsorily closed in the period January 1 - January 31, 2021 will be able to apply for it on the VLAIO website starting February 16.
Meanwhile, the Flemish Protection Mechanism 3 for the period November 16 - December 31, 2020 can still be applied for until February 15 at the latest.