Supporting Amsterdam businesses

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to affect many businesses in Amsterdam. Restrictions are limiting travel, events have been cancelled and non-essential shops are open by appointment only. The Dutch government has pledged support to companies and self-employed professionals affected by the crisis, with various schemes to bridge losses and pay wages, as well as support living costs. Many schemes are available until July 2021 and may be expanded or adjusted as measures continue.

Business closed during coronavirus lockdown (via Unsplash)

Financial support available

  • NOW (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid) provides financial help for employers to pay their employees’ wages and to cover some other costs related to the COVID-19 crisis. You can find more information about the scheme here
  • Startups and scale-ups can apply for the 'Corona-Overbruggingslening' (Corona Bridging Loan or COL) via the Techleap.nl website. To prepare for your application, review the extensive Q&A and the documentation requirements
  • The Dutch government has made €750m available in bridging loans for companies with relatively small financing needs (from €10,000 to €50,000). Called the Kleine Kredieten Corona garantieregeling, the loans will be provided by the banks and have an interest rate of up to 4%. You can find out more details about the scheme on the overview page (in Dutch).
  • You can also find details about Tozo, the support for self-employed professionals (ZZP-ers). You can apply for Tozo with your municipality.
  • The time-out arrangement (TOA) enables entrepreneurs to temporarily put their company into a form of hibernation. The government is now working on the Wet Homologatie Onderhands Akkoord (WHOA), which will make this easier for businesses by allowing them to reach an agreement with creditors and shareholders, preventing bankruptcy. Find out more about TOA (in Dutch).
  • You can also find information about the government's business loan guarantee scheme, SME credit and temporary emergency bridging measure
  • If you are the owner of an SME (up to 250 employees) or self-employed and suffered a turnover loss due to the pandemic you may be eligible for the continued Reimbursement Fixed Costs SMEs scheme, or TVL. SMEs in all sectors are eligible to claim costs other than wage costs until July 2021, providing they meet the required conditions (link in Dutch)
  • If you are a starting or existing business owner in the Netherlands and need credit, you may be eligible for microcredit
  • Costs for events organised between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 can be reclaimed if the event is cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • Self-employed people or employees who are not entitled to other support schemes may be able to receive support through Temporary Support for Necessary Costs (TONK) to contribute towards living costs such as housing. The government has earmarked €260 million for the scheme. It’s organised by municipalities and is available from March 2021
  • Healthcare providers wishing to provide or expand digital support (eHealth solutions such as personal alarm systems or lifestyle tracking) can apply for the Incentive Scheme eHealth at Home (SET) to meet some of the costs
  • If you need more guidance, check out the FAQ for entrepreneurs.

The City of Amsterdam is also offering support for businesses and individuals

The City of Amsterdam website provides the latest government information in English 

Other available services

  • As the official foreign investment agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, amsterdam inbusiness is continuing to offer assistance online. The team is available to answer questions by phone or email. This includes questions about market intelligence, practical information about setting up a business in the area and online fact-finding visits, among other services
  • IN Amsterdam, which helps international newcomers to the Amsterdam Area, is still operating with a limited staff for scheduled appointments only. You can find out more about the services it is offering here
  • On the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) website you can find the latest information about the regulations around staying in the Netherlands and renewing and applying for different versions of residence and work permits.

While this is a comprehensive guide to support available, the Dutch government regularly announces updates and extensions to the existing measures. For the most up-to-date information, check business.gov.nl

For advice on how to manage employees during these times, read our practical guide for employers.