Further expansion of support for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean Netherlands will soon be able to submit a new application for a contribution towards their fixed costs from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). The amount of this fourth EZK Compensation can vary between $ 425 and $ 400,000. In addition, the most affected entrepreneurs can submit a request for a flexibilization in the use of the Emergency Regulation for wage costs of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW).

Fourth EZK Compensation

The EZK Compensation is for entrepreneurs who have difficulties bearing their fixed costs due to the corona crisis. For the fourth compensation, the turnover figures for October, November and December 2020 are compared with the turnover figures for the same months in 2019. The reimbursement factor will be higher than it was for the previous compensation from EZK; it was 0.75 and now becomes 0.85. This means that entrepreneurs can now claim a higher compensation amount than in the previous period for an equal percentage of decrease in turnover.

As soon as the regulation is published in the Government Gazette, expected at the beginning of March, applications can be submitted via an application form. The conditions and working method remain the same as for the third EZK Compensation.

Flexibilization of the Emergency Regulation

The support for wage costs from SZW will continue mostly unchanged until the 13th of July 2021. An exception applies from the 1st of March for companies that are most affected by the corona crisis. They are allowed to deploy 25 percent of the working hours of their employees, while they continue to receive the wage cost subsidy for these hours. The flexibilization is intended to allow for a faster start-up when the tourist flow gets back on track and helps to keep employees fit for work.

115 companies are eligible

In order to determine which companies are most affected, a link is made with the EZK Compensation. Only companies that already make use of the Emergency Regulation of SZW and whose application for the third EZK Compensation (period July to September 2020) shows that they are dealing with a loss of turnover of at least 50 percent, can request the flexibilization. It concerns 115 companies on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. Agreements with regard to this exception have been made in consultation with employers’ organizations.

Submit a request

To apply for the flexibilization, companies must submit a request to the SZW-unit of RCN. After written agreement the employer may determine, in consultation with the employees, how and which 25 percent of the working hours will be deployed. This may be changed during the term of the flexibilization. Only employees for whom wage cost subsidy is already provided can be accommodated within the 25 percent.

All conditions and additional information about the support regulations can be found on http://www.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19 (under Government Emergency Package). Here you will also find the necessary application forms. For urgent questions, you can contact the SZW-unit of RCN via 781-5554 (Bonaire), 790-0052 (St. Eustatius) and 416-3804 (Saba). For your application for the EZK Compensation, you can also contact the support desk of the Chamber of Commerce via steunloket@kvkbonaire.com.

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