Supporting Rotterdam businesses in coping with the Corona crisis


Dear Rotterdam entrepreneur,

Like many of you, I am deeply struck by the sudden, violent impact the Corona virus is having on our lives. Entrepreneurs are also being hit hard by the measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus. The stories I am hearing from them are deeply affecting. I would like to assure you that we, as the municipality of Rotterdam, are working very hard together with the national government to limit these consequences as much as possible. At the moment, we are busy taking stock of the impact of the national economic measures and arranging the practical implementation of those measures. In addition, we are also taking our own measures to be able to provide additional assistance in the city and region where possible and appropriate. An overview of the most important measures can be found later in this letter.

The measures that are to be taken will follow each other very quickly and the sharing of correct and up-to-date information is therefore crucial. We will keep you informed via Ondernemen010 and the website of the Regionaal Bureau Zelfstandigen (RBZ). There you will find all the information you need as a entrepreneur for help or questions. We will keep the information as up to date as possible. We also have this information available in English via our website Ondernemen010 and in other languages via the translation button. If you have any questions, you can also contact our colleagues at the Ondernemersbalie, the company contact officers, account managers and project managers with whom you may already have contact. They are ready to help you.

National measures
This week, the national government announced a broad package of measures, which can be summarised as follows:
– Temporary measure Emergency Bridging Fund for Employment (NOW): this measure replaces the reduction of working hours (WTV), which will be withdrawn.
– Temporary provision of income support for self-employed persons: this scheme is based on the already existing Bbz (Decree on assistance for the self-employed), but will be dealt with and provided more quickly and now has temporarily flexible conditions.
– Extension of the guarantee scheme for loans to SMEs (Borgstelling MKB-kredieten): BMKB-C: the measure allows companies to borrow money from the bank under more favourable conditions.
– Deferred payment of tax: this may concern your income tax, corporation tax, VAT and payroll tax. See also local measures.
– Extension of the Guarantee Scheme for Business Financing (GO): the government proposes to increase the guarantee ceiling of the GO from EUR 400 million to EUR 1.5 billion. The GO scheme involves the government giving a 50% guarantee on bank loans and bank guarantees.

Local measures for businesses that we have already taken:
– All businesses and self-employed people in Rotterdam will be granted a three-month postponement of payment of the municipal levies (OZB (property tax), waste disposal levy and sewerage levy, advertising and precario tax). This will happen automatically, and you don’t have to do anything. All collection processes relating to these levies are also suspended for three months.
– In line with the government decision, the municipality has also reduced the interest on late payments from 4% to 0.01%.
– Suspension of BIZ (Business Investment Zone) tax: the imposition of all BIZ assessments for 2020 will be suspended for the time being. More information will follow as soon as this becomes clear.
– Expansion of the capacity to provide information via Ondernemen010 and the Regionaal Bureau Zelfstandigen (self-employed persons) in order to provide you with the best possible information.
– Through the Accelerate innovation for SMEs programme, we are working with the retail sector to find out how accelerated digitisation can be used to strengthen the resilience of the retail sector.
– As long as the street trading in our markets has been suspended, the traders in question will not receive a bill for market money and electricity. Separate information will soon follow for our market vendors.

In the next few days we will look into whether and other local measures are necessary and if so, which ones. For an explanation of all the measures, please go to Ondernemen010.

As a Vice Mayor of this very resilient city, I know one thing for sure: Rotterdammers are going to pull each other through these tough times. If we continue to support each other and look out for those who need it, we will come out of this together much stronger.

Encouraging regards,

Arjan van Gils
Vice Mayor for Finance, Organisation, Port and Major Projects

Barbara Kathmann
Vice Mayor for Economics, Districts and Small Centres

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