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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BE-2020-11/848 – measures in Belgium

Regional measures concerning wage guarantees and extension of subsidies deadlines

Regionale maatregelen betreffende loongaranties en verlenging van subsidie deadlines

Country Belgium , applies regionally

    • – BE1 RÉGION DE BRUXELLES-CAPITALE/BRUSSELS HOOFDSTEDELIJK GEWEST
      – BE2 VLAAMS GEWEST
      – BE3 RÉGION WALLONNE
Time period Open ended, started on 13 March 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Deferral of payments or liabilities
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 14 May 2020 (updated 19 May 2020)

Background information

In order to cushion the impact for companies and self-employed persons the different regions have taken several measures that support them to pay back loans as well as extending the deadlines to apply for certain subsidies.

In addition there is support provided to improve contacts with the financial sector so that companies can apply for exception measures.

The regions also provide funding themselves in order to provide guarantees for companies with loans that are at risk of being unable to pay them back. All of this to reduce the economic repercussions during and after the current crisis.

Content of measure

Flanders: €100 million is earmarked for crisis guarantees. In this way, companies and self-employed persons can have a bridging loan guaranteed by the Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (Participation Society Flanders) during this crisis period. This measure is in addition to existing guarantees for investment credits and working capital. With this, 1,000 loans of €100,000 can be guaranteed that can be placed under the 75% regional guarantee.

Companies that are experiencing difficulties due to the crisis to meet the deadlines foreseen for certain subsidies from Flanders Innovation & Enterpreneurship, can consult with the agency about the possibility of extending these deadlines.

Flanders facilitates contacts between business organizations and the financial sector to make agreements about the impact of the crisis on the liquidity and repayment capacity of companies, individuals and families.

Brussels: The creation of a delegated assignment to Finance & Invest.brussels, including: Access to loans with a reduced interest rate for key suppliers of the HORECA sector allowing them to offer deferred payments for the hospitality sector; Access to loans with a reduced interest rate for hospitality businesses employing more than 50 people.

A moratorium on capital reimbursement on loans granted by finance & invest.brussels to companies in the impacted sectors.

Wallonia: Emergency loan through the St'art investment fund for cultural enterprises: The "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" (FWB) has approved an emergency loan from the St'art investment fund to support the cash flow of cultural and creative enterprises in sectors that aim at the creation, development, production, reproduction, promotion, distribution or sale of goods, services and activities with a cultural, artistic and/or historical content.

This loan would be available for a period of 6 months (extendable by 6 months if necessary) for an amount of between €20,000 and €100 000 at a fixed rate of 2%. An individual analysis will be carried out to verify the repayment capacity, but also to check whether other aid measures (federal, regional, community) have been activated.

Use of measure

Difficult to estimate the uptake of the measure as it involves many different measures in different regions.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

N/A

Views and reactions

The extent of their involvement is unknown.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Regional measures concerning wage guarantees and extension of subsidies deadlines, case BE-2020-11/848 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.