Coronavirus: information for businesses

The coronavirus is also having a major impact on businesses in The Hague. Take a look at the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus. This page will be updated as soon as more information is available.

For up-to-date information also follow the Ondernemersportaal on Twitter: OPDenHaag.

Where can I find national information about the measures?

As an independent business, can I apply for an income bridging measure from the municipality?

Due to the Dutch government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, many independent businesses, including self-employed persons, are facing a loss of revenue. The Dutch government aims to support these independent entrepreneurs so that they can continue their business. Independent businesses can make use of a number of measures. You can apply at the Municipality of The Hague for the Temporary income support for independent businesses (Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling voor zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo)).

This measure enables you to apply for 2 different funds if you meet the conditions:

  • Temporary income bridging measure for independent businesses

This is a temporary benefit providing income support for a maximum period of 3 months up to the guaranteed minimum income. The exact amount depends on your household situation and your income. The maximum amount is € 1,500 (net) per month. You do not have to repay this income support. There is no capital or partner test.

  • Loan for business capital

If your company is facing liquidity problems due to the coronavirus, you can apply for a loan for business capital. You can borrow an amount of up to a maximum of € 10,157 at a 2% interest rate. You do have to repay this loan. The maximum term of the loan is 3 years. You do not have to pay off the loan until January 2021. You can apply for the loan for business capital on the page Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling voor zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo) aanvragen (in Dutch). Have you already applied for the income support for 3 months and are you now applying for the load for business capital? Send an email with 'Aanvraag lening bedrijfskapitaal' in the subject line to emailbeheer.szw@denhaag.nl. Include your name, address, city/town, your citizen service number (BSN), the amount you would like to borrow and your reason for this. The municipality will match up the application for the business capital loan to your earlier application for income support.

  • In order to make use of the Tozo measure the independent business must live in The Hague. Do you have a company in The Hague but you live elsewhere? Apply for this measure at the municipality where you live. You can apply for the loan for business capital on the page Tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling voor zelfstandig ondernemers (Tozo) aanvragen (in Dutch).
  • Are you in acute financial need? For example, you have no money for your daily groceries? Contact the SZW customer service at tel. (070) 353 75 00.

Are there more measures to support businesses?

The Dutch government has taken even more measures to help businesses affected by the coronavirus. You can find an overview of all supporting measures on the website of the Dutch government.

Compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS)

One of the supporting measures is compensation for businesses which are now being hit hard. The compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) is 1 of the Dutch government’s 9 emergency measures to support businesses during the corona crisis. The TOGS is for businesses in a number of specific sectors and provides a one-time compensation of € 4,000 for them to pay their fixed costs. You can apply for the TOGS through the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland. You will be assessed on the basis of the SBI code of your main business. More information about the TOGS can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW)

One of the other supporting national measures is the NOW. Do you employ staff and do you expect a turnover loss of at least 20%? Then you can claim a compensation towards wages for a period of 3 months from the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW). You can claim a maximum of 90% of wages, depending on how much turnover you lose. The NOW scheme replaces the unemployment benefit during short-time working (wtv). You can no longer apply for these benefits.

You can apply for the NOW compensation at the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) from 6 April 2020 to 31 May 2020.  If you fulfil the requirements you will get an advance payment within 2 to 4 weeks.

Read about the conditions and terms to be met on business.gov.nl.

Corona Bridging Loan (COL) for start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs

On 7 April the Dutch government announced that it would make available € 100 million towards bridging loans for start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. The Regional Development Corporations will execute this Corona Bridging Loan (COL).

Who can apply?

The COL is an additional measure for start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs or SMEs without a bank financing relationship. The COL facility is open to businesses which are predominantly financed with external equity. In addition the COL is open to SMEs which have financed their growth in recent years with internal equity, such as retained earnings, and which do not have a bank financing relationship, with the exception of a limited bank current account relationship.

Where and when can you apply for the COL?

You can apply for this bridging loan from Wednesday, 29 April through a special portal. Only applications submitted online will be processed.

What are the requirements for the COL?

More information and the conditions can be found at business.gov.nl.

What sort of local measures is the municipality taking for businesses?

The Hague Municipal Executive presented a package of local support measures on 20 March 2020 to help SME businesses and employees to get through the crisis. Read the summary of these measures and how you can make use of them.

Information, communication and services

  • Expansion of information supply for business owners (including self-employed persons)
  • Scaling-up the services of the desk for self-employed persons (bureau zelfstandigen). Self-employed persons can receive additional income support for living costs for a period of 3 months through an accelerated procedure
  • Extra use of account management because many companies have their own unique challenges and the municipality would like to respond to each specifically.

Measures to alleviate liquidity pressure

  • Option to suspend payment of tourist tax.
  • Option to suspend property tax charges.
  • Not sending Business Investment Zone (BIZ) charges for the next 3 months.
  • Payment schemes (such as suspension of payments), including for overdue taxes.
  • As of 23 March the late payment interest for all tax debts is temporarily lowered to 0.01% (was 4%).
  • The collection of outstanding debts will be eased; this means that any seizure orders will be suspended.

Would like to make use of a payment scheme? Or do you have questions about the measures? You can contact the Municipal Tax Department. It is available at tel. (070) 353 38 20 (Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 16.00 hrs.) or by email at invordering.gbd@denhaag.nl.

  • Do you rent municipal property? The municipality offers tenants the option of paying their rent later. You can contact your collection manager. You will find this person’s contact information on your rental invoice. The municipality encourages the same approach for owners of private property.

Temporary incentives

The municipality will be lenient in terms of performance agreements stipulated in subsidy conditions for organisers of events and conferences which cannot take place due due to the coronavirus.

  • Facilitation of delivery services (to supply stores) where possible (parking, loading/unloading, opening and closing times)
  • Extra local and social buying where (legally) possible
  • Temporary resources in vulnerable sectors to prevent a relapse into welfare where possible
  • Options to intensify efforts to make up for lost sales, for example through temporary extra marketing.

Which sectors can reopen as of 11 May?

  • People in contact-based professions will be allowed to work again: including driving instructors, (para)medical services (dietitians, masseurs, occupational therapists, dental technicians etc.), external care providers (hairdressers, beauticians, pedicurists etc.) and alternative therapists (acupuncturists, homeopaths etc.).
  • Their work will be organised at a distance of 1.5 metres as much as possible.
  • They will work by appointment only. The owner/staff member will discuss with clients beforehand whether their visit entails risks.

Which sectors are expected to reopen as of 1 June?

If the virus remains under control, the following will be possible:

  • Outdoor seating areas as long as people can stay 1.5 metres apart
  • Cinemas, restaurants, cafés and cultural institutions (such as concert venues and theatres) will reopen, subject to certain conditions:

    • A maximum of 30 people (including staff). People must be able to stay 1.5 metres apart.
    • Visitors must reserve beforehand.
    • The owner will discuss with customers beforehand whether their visit entails risks.

Which sectors are expected to reopen as of 1 July?

If the virus remains under control, shared toilets and shower blocks at campsites and holiday parks can reopen. The maximum number of visitors to cinemas, restaurants, cafés and cultural institutions can hopefully be increased to 100. This increase would also apply to organised gatherings , such as church services, weddings and funerals.

Expected measures from 1 September

If the virus remains under control, gyms, saunas, health spas, club canteens, coffeeshops, casinos and sex clubs/brothels will reopen.

A decision regarding mass spectator events such as festivals and major concerts will be taken before 1 September.

Which catering establishments and shops are open? Which are not?

  • All shops can remain open. Customers must, however, make sure to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. Shops and public transportation are required to take measures to ensure that people keep their distance, for example by allowing access to only a limited number of people. Shops can download posters to communicate the precautionary measures to their customers. You can find the posters on the website of the Dutch government.
  • Markets will also remain open. Customers must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other here as well. A rule took effect for all markets in The Hague as of 30 March: only sales of foodstuffs. There is a smaller temporary market at the Haagse markt: the Haagse Foodmarkt. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs.
  • Hotels are also open. Eating and drinking establishments in the hotels can remain open for hotel guests only.
  • Home delivery of food is also permitted. Direct contact between the delivery person and customer should be avoided.
  • All restaurants and cafes are still closed. Food takeout is permitted, including in subordinate catering. The food or drink may not be consumed on the premises.
  • Also 'subordinate catering', i.e. catering activities in a shop (such as a coffee bar in a shop), are still closed.
  • Coffeeshops have to close but are allowed to open a takeaway window. They have to be able arrange this logistically and also abide by all hygiene measures prescribed because of the coronavirus.

Look at the emergency decree (in Dutch) which states which businesses have to close.

    The Hague has expanded the window times to supply shops as of Saturday, 21 March. This will primarily give supermarkets more time to organise their supplies. The times were from 5.00 to 11.30 hrs. The new times are from 5.00 to 22.00 hrs. This extra time does not apply to the following clusters: Zuiderpark, the Boulevard, the Muzenplein and the Anna van Buerenplein.

    Which permits do I need for my business for takeout and deliveries?

    A catering establishment can deliver and/or offer takeout if that was specified when applying for the operating licence. At present, this is not a priority for supervision and enforcement.

    The following rules apply to takeout meals:

    • No more than 3 people in the location or at the takeaway window.
    • Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres.
    • No food or drinks may be consumed on-site.
    • Prevent other people from using the outdoor seating area. Close it off and stack the chairs and tables to that it is not possible for people to hang around there.

    How can I now apply for/change a catering licence?

    ­The horecabalie in City Hall is closed until 19 May. Only appointments which had already been made will still take place. You can apply for and/or change a catering licence online by submitting an application via intakevergunningen@denhaag.nl Go to the page Horeca-ondernemers (in Dutch) to see what you need to submit to make the application complete.

    If you would rather arrange this in person, you can schedule an appointment as of 19 May 2020. You can then visit the horecabalie in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall.

    How is the municipality handling subsidies and sponsorship contributions towards events which have been cancelled or can only take place in a modified version due to the corona measures?

    The municipality is being lenient in terms of performance agreements it has stipulated with event organisers which have received a subsidy or sponsorship contribution from the Large-scale Public Events scheme or the Promotion Fund for Small-scale Public Events. A framework for action has been established in order to compensate event organisers in the city during the corona crisis.

    Cyber criminals are exploiting the coronavirus. How can I avoid scams?

    Stay on the lookout for (phishing) messages, downloads and ‘useful corona tools’ which are being sent out and share these concerns with your employees. There is an increase in malware attacks through a fake Corona Map and phishing mails are being sent on behalf of the RIVM. The Digital Trust Center of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) is providing tips.

    Do you have any other questions? Or do you need more information?

    Information for businesses

    • The municipality’s Local Business Counter (Ondernemersportaal) can be reached by telephone from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs. Tel. (070) 353 60 04 and at ondernemersportaal@denhaag.nl. For the most recent updates follow the Ondernemersportaal on Twitter: OPDenHaag.
    • Do you have people working for you through the Den Haag Werkt programme? And do you have any questions about the coronavirus? Look at the page Coronavirus: informatie voor werkgevers over Den Haag Werkt (in Dutch). Do you not see your question? Then you can call Den Haag Werkt at tel. (070) 752 77 50 or send an email to denhaagwerkt@denhaag.nl.
    • You can read about good initiatives and creative solutions during the corona crisis by and for businesses and entrepreneurial collectives in The Hague on denhaag.com as well as the Haags Retailpunt (HRP). Follow HRP on Facebook.

        Information for catering establishments

        You can also obtain information about the coronavirus from the Dutch Hospitality Association (KHN). Go to khn.nl/corona for an overview of all information regarding the coronavirus or contact the KHN at corona@khn.nl or tel. (0348) 48 94 89 (during office hours) or tel. (0348) 48 94 11 (weekends).

        To be able to inform hospitality businesses in The Hague quickly, KHN The Hague has a mobile number which they can use to send text messages. If you would like to be informed in this way, you can register by sending a text message to tel. 06 - 13 82 25 38.

        General information

        • Corona help desk: MKB-Nederland, VNO-NCW and PZO-ZZP, together with the Chamber of Commerce, have opened a corona help desk for businesses with questions. This desk will provide information which can help you with questions about which schemes are available, how you should act in certain cases and what you are recommended to do now. The desk can also be reached by telephone at tel. 0800 - 2117 (on weekdays between 8.30 and 17.00 hrs.). Please note: the telephone lines are very busy. You can also find many answers on the website of the KvK.
        • Ondernemersplein: the website of the Ondernemersplein is also a good reference on everything businesses will need to think about during the corona crisis.
        • Water taxes: The water authorities are also providing an extensive package of measures to help businesses get through the corona crisis. If businesses are unable to pay their water taxes because of the crisis, they will get a suspension of payment. The Unie van Waterschappen, MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW announced this on 22 March. Read more on the website of the UVW.
        • Corona journal: the corona crisis and the measures to contain the spread of the virus are having a huge impact on The Hague's local economy and employment market. The municipality is keeping a corona journal to provide insight into the (possible) economic impact on the local economy. It will use available research and figures. The journal will be updated regularly and you can find the details on the website Den Haag in Cijfers.

          Information about doing business abroad

          For questions about conducting business internationally and the coronavirus, you can contact the RVO. Call the RVO on tel. (088) 042 42 42 (during office hours) or send an email to klantcontact@rvo.nl.

          Communication tools for non-Dutch speakers

          Would you like to inform non-Dutch speakers about the coronavirus? Communication tools are available for this. These include measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the telephone number and website where people can get answers about the virus. The information is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Papiamento, Papiamentu, Polish and Turkish. You can download the communication tools from the website of the Dutch government.

          Also see: denhaag.nl/coronavirus

          Published: 19 March 2020Modified: 8 May 2020