The Brussels Government has taken a series of additional measures to complement the Federal measures:
1. The payment of a one-off premium of € 4,000 for SMEs that were obliged to close completely as a consequence of the contingency measures and which operate in one of the sectors listed in the annex to the decision of 26 March 2020 (Bars and restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, book shops, etc.) Applications can be made online until 1 June 2020.
2. Corona compensation of € 2,000 for micro and small enterprises (with a maximum of 5 full time equivalents) that were not force to close but which are experiencing a significant drop in activity due to the measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19.
3. € 3,000 compensation to all operators of taxis and car rental with drivers.
4. Several deadlines are extended or made more flexible until 16 May 2020: circulation tax and road tax, notice periods for private tenants and student tenants, the ban on gas and electricity cuts and the suspension of urban planning deadlines, public enquiries and consultation committees.
5. Abolition of the City Tax for the first half of 2020.
6. Financial support for businesses affected by the granting of public guarantees on bank loans via ‘Brussels Waarborgfonds’ (up to a total of € 20 million).
7. The allocation of a special task to Finance & Invest.brussels to take the following initiatives:
- to grant loans at low interest rates to key suppliers in the hospitality sector that will allow them to offer their hospitality customers a longer payment period;
- granting low-interest loans to catering businesses with more than 50 employees.
8. A moratorium, on a case-by-case basis, on the repayment of the capital of loans granted by Finance & Invest.brussels to affected companies.
9. The accelerated or premature treatment, recording and settlement of expansion aid (files currently being analysed by Brussels Economy and Employment) for companies in the hotel and catering, tourism, cultural and events sectors.
10. Strengthening support for businesses in difficulty by increasing the allocation to the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty by € 200,000.
11. Foreign trade: hub.brussels will contact the companies from which foreign missions have been cancelled to provide further explanations of the consequences and technical details.
12. Support measures for the social inclusion economy sector and service voucher sector.
913 The tax on the operation of taxis or chauffeur-driven vehicles will be waived for 2020.
The Brussels Government has also called on all public authorities, administrations, public utility institutions and municipalities to take measures to show solidarity with the entrepreneurs affected, in particular by deferring rents.
In addition to the measures taken by the Brussels Government, the Government of the ‘Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles’ has approved an emergency loan from the St'art investment fund to support the cash flow of cultural and creative businesses. More details about this loan are available here.
The above information is merely intended as comment on relevant issues of Belgian law and is not intended as legal advice. Before taking action or relying on the comments and the information given, please seek specific advice on the matters that are of concern to you.