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Water damage in Wallonia: what support measures can my company rely on?

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The exceptional flooding of the past few days has caused significant damage to several stores and businesses located near waterways. The measures below may apply if you are affected by extreme weather conditions during the entire month of July 2021.

1. Support measures

Whether you are self-employed or a manager of an SME, in the event of flood damage you can rely on the following measures

  • If self-employed: contact your social security fund, because under certain conditions, the bridging right and an exemption/deferral of social security contributions can be invoked.
  • As an employer: if the proper performance of work is made impossible by an extraordinary event, you can place your employees on temporary unemployment due to force majeure. There are also various options for when the employee cannot go to work due to bad weather.
  • Containers will be provided to restart the activity of the affected self-employed/enterprises.

2. Emergency flood loan

Given the magnitude of the storms of the last few days and their impact on professional activities, SOWALFIN, SOGEPA, SRIW and WALLONIE SANTÉ have established an emergency mechanism for the pre-financing of interventions by insurance companies and/or the Walloon Disaster Fund.

The entrepreneur can choose between 2 forms of financing (which can be combined):

  1. Prêt Urgence Inondations: This is an emergency loan with a variable credit amount at 0% interest for the purpose of pre-financing compensation from the insurance company and/or from the Fonds Des Calamités. This loan covers a maximum of 75% of the insurance company's compensation. The application can be made as follows:
    • For loans up to EUR 50,000: via a online form on the SOWALFIN website
    • For credits greater than EUR 50,000: through a online form on the SOGEPA website.

For more info, click HERE.

  1. Prêt Ricochet Relance: This is a subordinated credit (and/or guarantee) up to 100,000 EUR to strengthen your working capital. This application can be made through your banker (For more info, click HERE).

In addition, the banking parties are ready to work with entrepreneurs and families to find solutions to their financial problems. Together we will look for a solution to your specific situation in order to bridge this difficult period as best as possible.

3. Walloon Disaster Fund

The Walloon Disaster Fund can intervene to compensate individuals and companies for damage to normally uninsurable goods. Insurance companies reimburse most of the "usual" losses (through fire insurance, comprehensive insurance for vehicles less than 5 years old, etc.).

Once the disaster has been recognized (through publication in the Belgian Official Gazette), the owner of the damaged property has up to 3 months to submit a request to the Regional Disaster Office for aid for repairs.

Forms are available from your local government or HERE.

We will continue to follow the support measures closely for you. Entrepreneurship has been a challenge for all of us for some time now, but one that we continue to face together.

If you want more information, you can always reach us at 051 26 82 68 or via e-mail to