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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 Zelfstandige 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 and there is no capital or partner test. You can apply for the special assistance scheme on the page Tijdelijke inkomensoverbrugging voor zelfstandige ondernemers aanvragen (in Dutch).

  • 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.

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.

Are you in acute financial need? For example, you have no money to buy 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.

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.

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 companies must be closed?

  • All restaurants and bars must be completely closed until 28 April. With the exception of catering facilities in companies (such as cafeterias) which are not open to the public. Casinos fall under the same measure as food and drinking establishments and will close as of 24 March.
  • Also 'subordinate catering', i.e. catering activities in a shop (such as a coffee bar in a shop), must be closed.
  • Food takeout is permitted, including in subordinate catering. The food or drink may not be consumed on the premises.
  • Sports and fitness clubs, saunas and sex clubs/brothels must also shut their doors.
  • 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.
  • Personal care professionals like hairdressers, beauty and nail salons may not have contact with clients until 28 April. Physical therapists have to help their clients via video calls wherever possible.
There is currently an emergency decree in effect. You can look at it in the official documents (in Dutch).

Which catering establishments and shops will remain open?

  • All shops can remain open. Customers must, however, make sure to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. Shops and pubilc 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 dowload 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 new 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 can also remain 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.
    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 the priority for supervision and enforcement.

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

    ­The horecabalie in City Hall is closed until 28 April. 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 28 April 2020. You can then visit the horecabalie in the Atrium of The Hague City Hall.

    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 8.30 to 18.00 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.
    • If you would like to make use of the local measures to alleviate liquidity pressure or if you have questions about this, 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.
    • 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 schems 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.

          Information about international business

          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: 3 April 2020