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 headquarters in the Brussels-Capital Region and a maximum of 5 full time equivalents) that were not forced to close but which are experiencing a significant drop in activity due to the measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19. More details are available here. Applications could be made until 30 June 2020.
3. Support for taxi drivers: € 3,000 compensation to all operators of taxis and car rental with drivers and the tax on the operation of taxis or chauffeur-driven vehicles will be waived for 2020. More information can be found here. Applications could be made until 30 June 2020.
4. Several deadlines are extended or made more flexible: 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.
More details are to be found here.
8. Strenghtening microcredit through Brusoc RECOVER loan: RECOVER is an emergency loan that can reduce a company's cash flow stress and is primarily intended to give a new boost to economic activity of micro businesses that has been slowed down by the current Covid-19 crisis. The conditions to benefit from the loan can be found here.
9. Support for the cultural and creative sector: The Brussels government has taken the following measures:
- a one-off regional sector premium of € 2,000 to all non-profit cultural and creative organisations in Brussels which are affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The conditions to benefit from the premium are available here.
- exceptional support of up to € 1,500 for cultural workers (fund of EUR 5 million).
10. A moratorium, on a case-by-case basis, on the repayment of the capital of loans granted by Finance & Invest.brussels to affected companies.
11. Support for the activity cooperatives (such as SMartCoop, ISIS-DiES, BRUCOOP, SATICOOP en RCoop).
12. The accelerated or premature treatment, recording and settlement of expansion aid (files currently being analysed by Brussels Economy and Employment) for any sector of activity.
13. Strengthening support for businesses in difficulty by increasing the allocation to the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty by € 200,000.
14. 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. If these cancellation costs are not reimbursed, the companies can apply for a premium of maximum € 2,500.
15. Proxi-loan: The proxi-loan is intended to mobilise citizens' savings to finance SMEs by means of a tax credit on one or more loans granted by a Brussels citizen to an SME. More information can be found here.
16. Support measures for the social inclusion economy sector and service voucher sector.
17. Covid-19 premium of € 3,000 for companies active in the agricultural sector
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.