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I stay open, can I get a relief grant in case of heavy loss of turnover?

Wednesday 22/04/2020
Ik blijf open

Companies which are not obliged to close down, but which suffer a heavy loss of turnover as a result of the corona measures, receive a relief grant from the Flemish government.

In the first phase, the companies that had to close down as a result of the federal coronation measures were supported with the relief grant.  

In a second phase, a compensation relief grant is now offered to companies suffering a large loss of turnover as a result of the operating restrictions imposed by the National Security Council as from 12 March 2020 in the context of the Corona crisis.  

The application procedure 

Here, too, VlAIO will develop a digital application module, just as it did for the Corona relief grant.  

The digital application module has been operational since 4 May 2020. As with the annoyance premium, a manual request has also been made possible. 

Companies have until 30 June 2020 to submit the application. 

For whom is the Corona relief grant available? 

This relief grant is available for companies and their suppliers who are still working or commercial businesses that remain open but have a large loss of turnover due to the Corona measures as a result of the operating restrictions imposed by the National Security Council.  

Depending on the nature of the company, one is entitled to a lump sum relief grant of EUR 3,000.00 or EUR 1,500.00. 

The Corona relief grant is a one-off premium. Contrary to the Corona relief grant, there is therefore no additional premium per day as from 6 April. 

Which companies are eligible for this relief grant? 

Are eligible for a relief grant of EUR 3,000.00:  

  • Self-employed person in main occupation 
  • Self-employed person in a secondary occupation with a professional income (net taxable income) of at least EUR 13,993.78 in 2019  
  • A company with legal personality under private law with at least 1 FTE working partner or at least 1 FTE staff member registered with the NSSO. 
  • A foreign company with comparable status with at least 1 FTE working partner or at least 1 FTE registered with the NSSO. 
  • An association with economic activity with at least 1 FTE of staff registered with the NSSO. 

Are eligible for the relief grant of 1.500,00EUR:  

  • A self-employed person in secondary employment who in 2019 has a professional income between 6,996.89 EUR and 13,993.78 EUR and is not employed as a wage earner for 80% or more. 

There is a maximum of 5 relief grants per company if there are more than one operating seat per company.  

Self-employed persons in secondary employment who qualify for the relief grant of EUR 1,500 are not eligible for a relief grant for an additional establishment.  

Which companies are not eligible for this relief grant? 

  • Enterprises in a non-active situation (bankruptcy, liquidation, cessation, dissolution); 
  • holding companies; (NACE 64200); 
  • asset management companies (rental and operation of own or leased non-residential real estate, excluding land) (NACE 68203); 
  • Activities of head offices (NACE 70100); 
  • management companies of which the manager of the company provides business services to a company which has already received the relief grant and in which the same person is a director, partner or manager; 
  • companies which were obliged to close the doors of their sites as a result of the Coronavirus measures. (no cumulation with the relief grant is possible) 
  • enterprises that do not have a place of business in the Flemish Region. 

What activity must an undertaking carry out in order to be eligible? 

Enterprises with a main activity in a certain sector and included in the list of nacebel codes. The main activity must be registered in the CDE on 13 March 2020. 

It concerns: 

  • Category 1 : the event sector and the other companies indirectly affected by the closures and cancellations due to the Coronavirus measures; 
  • Category 2: the (para)medical professions and technical control which, as a result of the Coronavirus measures, may only carry out urgent interventions; 
  • Category 3: the service providers who, as a result of the Coronavirus measures, may only carry out urgent interventions or close down certain work sites; 
  • Category 4: Undertakings providing essential services. 
  • Category 5: if the company is not active in one of the above categories and was not obliged to close its doors, it will still be eligible for support if it undergoes a substantial operating restriction as a result of the measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. 

What reduction in turnover must be demonstrated in order to qualify for the subsidy? 

The company must have a reduction in turnover of at least 60% due to the mentioned Coronavirus operating restrictions. 

The period in which the decrease in turnover must be demonstrated is from 14 March 2020 to 30 April 2020. The reference period is the period from 14 March 2019 to 30 April 2019. If the reference period shows an abnormally low turnover (e.g. due to maternity leave or incapacity for work), the period may be replaced by another reference period. 

The decrease in turnover is the decrease in turnover (excl. VAT) due to reduced services due to operating restrictions imposed by the National Security Council. The decrease in turnover is therefore not demonstrated by invoices such as deferred invoicing but by: 

  • daily receipts 
  • delivered performances 
  • time registration 

In the event of a fall in turnover due to substantial operating restrictions (category 5), the fall in turnover must be due, for example, to obligations imposed, such as the social distancing of employees, which prevents the undertaking from operating at full capacity.  

The reduction in turnover may also be due to the reduced purchase of products and services by professional customers who have had to close their business. A mere drop in turnover due to reduced demand is not a sufficient reason. The applicant company must explain and substantiate in detail the loss of turnover in the application for aid. 

For enterprises that had not yet started in the aforementioned period of 2019, the decrease in turnover in the period from 14 March to 30 April 2020 will be compared with the expected turnover, as stated in a financial plan.  

For the self-employed person in secondary employment who in 2019 has a professional income of between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 13,993.78 and is not employed for 80% or more, the condition of the 60% decrease in turnover does not apply if they have to close down compulsorily. This was a category of self-employed persons who were not eligible for the Corona nuisance relief grant of 4,000.00 EUR. This group of self-employed workers is therefore entitled to a Corona compensation relief grant of 1,500.00 EUR. 

Control? 

The fall in turnover will have to be confirmed in a statement of honour.  

The supporting documents must be kept for 5 years. 

The Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Vlaio) can verify the truthfulness of the turnover decrease reported by the company on the basis of administrative data and the company's accounts, both prior to and up to five years after payment of the subsidy.  

Enterprises must reimburse the subsidies received unduly to the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Vlaio)!  

Cumul with other grants possible? 

No cumulation is possible with the subordinated loan and the Gigarant guarantee granted by PMV and with the Corona relief grant. 

Transferable to a third party? - Confiscability 

Finally, the Flemish Government has also decided that both the Corona relief grant and the Corona relief grant cannot be transferred to third parties and are not subject to attachment. 

If you have other questions regarding the Corona crisis, please visit our special FAQ

Last update: 07/05/2020

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An Lettens
An Lettens
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