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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 NL-2020-40/985 Updated – measures in Netherlands

Subsidy for fixed costs for SMEs

Tegemoetkoming Vaste Lasten MKB (TVL)

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 October 2020 – 31 December 2021
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia) and Eurofound
Case created 13 July 2020 (updated 31 January 2022)

Background information

This measure was initiated by a member of parliament and the national government (Specifically Dijkhoff (VVD - centre right party) and Jette (D66 - liberal democrat party)), and employer organisations pointed to the fact that besides staff costs, SMEs are now starting to struggle to meet their fixed costs as well. For this reason this measure was introduced to help SMEs to bridge the crisis by helping them to pay for their fixed costs.

This measure, the TVL has also been extended within the third package of emergency measures. The aim of this measure is unchanged, namely to help support SMEs with their fixed costs now that their incomes are likely to be lower. This new version of the TVL will also enter into force on 1 October 2020 and will run until 21 June 2021.

Content of measure

Through this measure, SMEs can apply for this subsidy to help them cover their fixed cost when they have had a revenue loss of at least 30%. Furthermore, sectors which currently used to fall under the TOGs are eligible for this measure. Enterprises can receive anywhere from €1,000 up to €50,000 for the period of 1 June until 30 September.

In its updated form, the TVL runs for nine months though (as with the NOW 3.0), the support becomes gradually available for only the especially badly hit SMEs. The first three months of the TVL, October to January 2021, require that SMEs have 30% revenue loss to be eligible. In the second three months, (January to March of 2021), SMEs with a 40% revenue loss are eligible, and from March to June 2021, those with 45% revenue loss are eligible. The amount of support offered does not change; 50% of fixed costs of an enterprise (up to a maximum of €90,000), is provided by the government.

Sectors which fall under the TOG include the recreation sectors, the hotel, restaurant, café and bar sectors (HORECA), events, carnivals, theatres and stage performance sectors. SMEs and solo self-employed in these sectors may make use of this measure.

In total the government aims to support 800,000 entrepreneurs in these sectors (some of which have already been helped by the TOG measure). The national government has set aside a budget of €1.4 billion for this measure.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

10 December 2021

Entrepreneurs who expect at least a 30% loss of turnover in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021 can apply for the Fixed Costs Allowance (TVL) again. The support for entrepreneurs in the night catering industry, under the name VLN, has been replaced by the TVL Q4 2021. The TVL is calculated with the loss of turnover, the percentage of fixed costs and a subsidy percentage of 100%. TVL Q4 2021 has the same conditions as TVL Q3 2021. The TVL can only be requested for the fourth quarter of 2021.

05 August 2021

TVL Q3 2021 (July, August, September) will be available shortly due to the continuous pandemic.

25 June 2021

Entrepreneurs who are affected by the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the second quarter of 2021 (April, May and June) can apply for the Fixed Charges Allowance (TVL Q2 2021) from 25 June 2021. The subsidy percentage has been increased from 85% to 100%. Entrepreneurs can now choose between two reference periods: the second quarter of 2019 or the third quarter of 2020. Starting entrepreneurs who are registered in the Trade Register before 30 June 2020 can therefore also apply for TVL Q2. SMEs can receive a maximum of €550,000 in subsidy for the second quarter. For large companies, that is a one-off €1.2 million. For the agricultural and horticultural sector, there remains a mark-up for special costs for keeping animals and crops alive.

10 May 2021

The TVL measure has been opened to large companies for the first time from Monday 10 May 2021. Until now, only SMEs could benefit from the aid measure. The TVL Q1 2021 will remain open for large companies until June 10 2021 so that they have enough time to submit an application. For SMEs, the scheme closed on 18 May 2021. The maximum subsidy amount for large companies is €600,000 for the first quarter. For large retail companies, a surcharge of up to €300,000 can be added to this.

01 October 2020

The TVL measure has been extended, just as the NOW and TOZO measures have. Within the third emergency package of measures published 1 October 2020, the TVL measure will also be established by nine months.

Beyond being extended, the measure is also being expanded. The maximum subsidy amount which an enterprise can receive will now be €90,000 per three months. In this way the measure can better meet the needs of mid-sized and larger SMEs in the Netherlands. Under the previous form, the cap for enterprises of this size was €50,000 for four months and this was deemed too low to cover the actual costs of running a larger enterprise when income and revenues have declined dramatically.

From 1 October to 31 December 2020, enterprises who have lost more than 30% of their revenue will be eligible for the measure. As of 1 January 2021, the TVL will become more focused on enterprises whose business activities have been put under the most pressure, namely those which have lost 40% or more of their revenue.

From April 2021 to 30 June 2021, enterprises must show they have lost 45% of their revenue to make use of the TVL.

The other conditions of the TVL remain the same, it subsidises up to 50% of the fixed costs of an enterprise.

Use of measure

In the second quarter of 2021, far fewer companies used the TVL scheme than in the previous quarter. The number of applications for the TVL in the second quarter was 44% lower than in the first quarter of this year. During the second quarter of this year, a number of COVID measures were relaxed and the number of TVL applications fell for the first time compared to the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2021, more than 113,000 calls were made to the TVL; in the second quarter this fell to more than 63,000. The average loss of turnover of the companies that applied was also 7% lower than during the first quarter. This was reflected in the hospitality sector (-17%), retail (-10%) and the service category (-16%), which includes hairdressers, beauty salons and saunas. The total subsidy amount requested is almost €2.4 billion, compared to €2.7 billion in the first quarter (Rijksoverheid, 2021).

There are about 42,000 companies that have used the TVL-1 scheme (reference date 31 December 2020). In numbers, the smaller companies (up to 10 employees) in particular made use of this scheme (86% of all users of the TVL-1). Of all companies that could make use of this on the basis of their NACE code, five percent made use of this TVL scheme (Bedrijvenbeleid in beeld, 2021).

On the reference date 31 December 2020, there were about 48,000 companies that were awarded a TVL Q4 2020 by RVO. This is about 2.5% of all companies. As with the TVL-1, the smaller companies in particular (up to 10 employees) made use of this scheme (85% of all users). Companies in the hotel and hospitality industry make the most use of this scheme in absolute and relative terms (Bedrijvenbeleid in beeld, 2021).

Due to the classification by NACE codes, tens of thousands of companies are still excluded from the measure. Their activity does not correspond to the NACE codes, but these entrepreneurs are hit hard by the COVID crisis. This is evident from research by a foundation for entrepreneurs. An example: a bowling alley is indexed by the category 'Indoor sports', while the vast majority of its turnover concerns food and drinks. Companies indexed as 'indoor sports' cannot make use of the measure, but restaurants can. In short, you get harrowing situations where one entrepreneur is eligible for the TVL scheme and another is not (Stichting ONL, 2020).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The social partners were deeply involved in the development of this measure, as they were with the entire third package of national emergency measures. Since the start of the corona outbreak, national peak level social partners indicate they have worked together very intensively and collaborated with the government to develop quick policy measures in response to the rapidly changing economic and social situation. Social partners have been meeting with the government on a weekly basis since March 2020.

Views and reactions

Given the close and regular involvement of social partners in developing both packages of emergency measures, the social partners and the national government both appear to be satisfied with what has been achieved in terms of policy within a short space of time.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
      R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Subsidy for fixed costs for SMEs, case NL-2020-40/985 (measures in Netherlands), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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