Resources for businesses and entrepreneurs in Rotterdam dealing with the negative impacts of COVID-19

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 Ohad Gilad     March 20, 2020

Support Systems for Businesses

Several policies have been put in place to support businesses and freelancers in Rotterdam who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. Last Tuesday (17th of March), the Dutch government announced extensive measures to help businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you will find links to resources and information for all business owners seeking help or advice:

Government measures

Dutch: Coronavirus: wegwijzer voor ondernemers
English: The coronavirus and your company: goverment measures to help businesses

A summary of the measures in Rotterdam:  

National measures:

  • Temporary measure Emergency Bridging Fund for Employment: this measure replaces the reduction of working hours (WTV), which will be withdrawn.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 favorable 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. Targeted as support systems for businesses and entrepreneurs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Local measures:

  • 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 digitization 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.
    (source: Barbara Kathmann Vice-mayor, Economy, Districts and Small Centres Rotterdam)

Legal advice

For detailed legal advice surrounding the current epidemic, please refer to this list of frequently asked legal questions about COVID-19.

Other resources and information COVID-19 Startup Guide
#ROTTERDAMZETDOOR Community Initiatives 
A Letter to Rotterdam Entrepreneurs from Vice Mayors Arjan van Gils and Barbara Kathmann
Results from a’s survey on how COVID-19 has impacted tech startups in the Netherlands


Veelgestelde ondernemers­vragen over corona
Measures against coronavirus

The Chamber of Commerce Coronaloket can be reached by telephone on +31 800 2117 (on working days between 08:00 and 20:00). Note: As you might imagine, it is really busy on the phone. You can find answers to frequently asked questions on the website.

General information about the coronavirus

In the Netherlands
Impact op Zuid-Hollandse Economie
Current information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Around the world
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Read a message from our founder Ohad, showing his support to those affected by the pandemic.