Coronavirus support for entrepreneurs

The Dutch government’s website provides information about the measures being taken to help businesses. Please take a look at this website first. This webpage explains what the national measures mean for the services that we offer businesses. You will also find information that applies specifically to Maastricht and its partner municipalities. 

Temporary benefit for self-employed persons (TOZO)

For entrepreneurs and the self-employed who are in financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis, the Dutch national government has introduced a temporary benefit for self-employed persons (the Self-employment Income Support and Loan Scheme or TOZO). This scheme is administered by the municipality. You can receive support in two forms: your income can be supplemented or you can apply for a loan to supplement your working capital. Initially, the scheme ran until 1 June, but has since been extended to 1 October. A number of conditions have changed in the extended scheme. You can find more information and an application here. Do you have any questions about your TOZO application? Call (043) 350 60 46 or send an e-mail to noodmaatregelondernemers [at] maastricht.nl.

Doing business across the border

Information for doing business in the border region can be found (in Dutch only)

Local measures announced by the City of Maastricht

  1. Rent deferral
    Tenants of municipal commercial real estate or tenants of social real estate (sports clubs, community centres, cultural institutions) can be granted a three-month rent deferral. Request your deferral here.
  2. Lenient policy on payment of municipal taxes
    In July 2020, the Belastingsamenwerking Gemeenten en Waterschappen Limburg (BsGW) will resume collecting business taxes. BsGW will take a lenient approach, however, so that entrepreneurs who are unable to make payment will not be faced with penalties or other costs. Collection of the following municipal taxes will resume: property, sewerage, waste disposal, cleaning, encroachment, advertising and tourism. Read more here about business taxes (in Dutch only).
  3. Fast invoice payment
    The municipality is doing everything in its power to process invoices as quickly as possible.
  4. Grants and subsidies
    The municipality is continuing to subsidise cultural and other entrepreneurs to prevent their running into financial difficulties. Entrepreneurs can also ask for the total subsidy or grant amount to be paid in advance. Please get in touch with your contact person about this.

Frequently asked questions

  • Events

    1. Can my event take place? The coronavirus measures for events were relaxed further on 1 July. This means that events may resume, provided that the necessary permits/exemptions have been granted and the event falls within the emergency COVID-19 ordinance.
    2. What requirements does an indoor event have to meet? An event permit is not required, but the organisers must have submitted the usual notification and must adhere to the extra coronavirus measures, such as:
      - visitors must always be able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from one another
      - if more than 100 persons are attending, a health check is required and visitors must make a reservation in advance
      - steps must be taken to separate converging flows of people, including those using sanitary facilities
      -additional hygiene measures should be introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19
      - visitors may not shout or sing along with others (only individual performers or performing groups, choruses or choirs are permitted; singing is also permitted as part of a religious or ideological observance).
    3. What requirements does an outdoor event have to meet? Larger events and events in the city centre require an events permit. The deadline for submitting the permit application is 8 weeks. For more information, see https://www.gemeentemaastricht.nl/ondernemen/evenement-organiseren-melding-en-vergunning (in Dutch only). For small-scale events (not in the city centre), a notification may be sufficient, with a submission deadline of 4 weeks. For more information, see https://www.gemeentemaastricht.nl/ondernemen/evenement-organiseren-melding-en-vergunning (in Dutch only).
    4. Beyond the usual regulations, outdoor events are subject to a number of additional coronavirus measures that must be included in the applicant’s plan, such as:

      - visitors must always be able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from one another

      - if more than 250 persons are attending, a health check is required and visitors must make a reservation in advance

      - steps must be taken to separate converging flows of people, including those using sanitary facilities

      - additional hygiene measures should be introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19

      - visitors may not shout or sing along with others (only individual performers or performing groups, choruses or choirs are permitted; singing is also permitted as part of a religious or ideological observance).

       

    5. Which permits and/or exemptions do I need for my event? For more information about permits and exemptions, see https://www.gemeentemaastricht.nl/ondernemen/evenement-organiseren-melding-en-vergunning (in Dutch only). If you have any questions, please contact evenementen [at] maastricht.nl.
  • Financial situation

    1. Can I apply for a tax deferral? The Tax and Customs Administration has introduced a number of measures for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons who are experiencing problems due to the coronavirus crisis. Check the Tax and Customs Administration’s website for the measures.
  • Reopening companies and institutions

    Entrepreneurs can develop their own protocol in cooperation with their industry organisation or with peers. If there is no protocol for your sector, you must comply with the RIVM guidelines. The RIVM has published a general guide to help you. See the RIVM website for more information.

  • Shops and catering

    1. Which rules apply to the catering industry from 1 July? In restaurants and indoor and outdoor cafés, guests must always maintain a distance of 1.5 meters (unless they belong to a single household), have a designated seat and observe the hygiene measures.

      Indoors, all restaurant and café guests must have a designated seat. Everyone must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters. A maximum of 100 people per room is allowed without a health check and reservation, provided that staff and guests can maintain sufficient distance from one another. Traffic flows must be separated.

      In the case of larger rooms or spaces that can accommodate more than 100 people, guests must book in advance and a health check is required. There is no maximum in such cases, but traffic entering and leaving, for example at doors and sanitary facilities, must be properly separated.

      In outdoor cafés, everyone must have a designated seat and there is a maximum of 250 people. Larger outdoor cafés do not have a maximum as long as guests can reserve in advance, health checks can be performed, and every guest has a designated seat. Under certain conditions, ‘cough screens’ may be placed outside as an alternative to the 1.5 meter distance
    2. How many guests are allowed in a restaurant or indoor or outdoor café? That depends on the size of the restaurant or indoor or outdoor café. Guests must be able to keep 1.5 meters apart and everyone must have a designated seat. If more than 100 guests can be accommodated indoors and more than 250 guests outdoors, reservations and a health check are required.
    3. When are reservations required? Reservations are required if a location can accommodate more than 100 people inside or more than 250 people outside (excluding staff) while maintaining 1.5 metres distance (except for people belonging to the same household). Check the restaurant, indoor/outdoor café or event website to see which rules apply. 
    4. Why do guests have to make reservations if it is possible to accommodate more than 100 people inside and more than 250 people outside? Reservations at such locations are necessary to ensure that large numbers of people do not show up at once. This is on the advice of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT).
    5. Do I have to register my guests’ contact details? No, it is not mandatory to register guest contact information.
    6. When is a health check required? A health check is mandatory if there are more than 100 people inside or more than 250 people outside (excluding staff). 
    7. What is a health check? A health check (also called a triage) is when a staff member asks the visitor whether the visitor has a cold or a fever. 
    8. Can a ‘cough screen’ be used when guests cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 meters? Yes, people do not have to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters if they are separated by a cough screen. Cough screens are currently only allowed in outdoor cafés. The use of cough screens indoors is still under review. The screens may only be used under the conditions stated in the emergency ordinance issued by the security regions. The conditions are also stated in the Instruction for Cough Screens on Outdoor Cafés in the Catering Industry (in Dutch only).
    9. Which venues must remain closed? Discotheques, clubs and similar dance venues will remain closed at least until 1 September, when a decision on their reopening will be taken.
    10. What are the rules for the temporary extension of outdoor seating? The General Rules on the Temporary Extension of Outdoor Seating (COVID-19) can be found here (in Dutch only).  
    11. As a catering entrepreneur, how can I apply to extend my outdoor seating? A request for additional outdoor seating space can be submitted by sending an e-mail to horeca [at] maastricht.nl.

      Please note: the extension must comply with the General Rules on the Temporary Extension of Outdoor Seating (COVID-19); see www.gemeentemaastricht.nl/ondernemen/terrasvergunning (in Dutch only).  
    12. As a catering entrepreneur, I want to inform my guests about the rules. What materials can I use for this? There is a toolkit for entrepreneurs produced by Koninklijke Horeca Nederland. The toolkit can be found on this website (in Dutch only). 
    13. What are the opening hours of the shops in Maastricht? See the Maastricht Marketing website for the opening hours adhered to by most shops.
    14. What times apply to loading and unloading? Loading and unloading times in the city centre are ‘back to normal’. This means that from Monday 18 May, loading and unloading is only allowed between 07.00 and 11.00 hours. This is because the city centre is becoming busier now that the coronavirus measures have been relaxed. See also loading and unloading
  • Pedestrian routes in Maastricht city centre

    1. What are pedestrian routes and what are they for? You’ll find the answer in the article ‘The “Maastricht Angel” shows the way in the city centre’.
  • Cross-border business

    1. Can Maastricht entrepreneurs living in Belgium or Germany apply for the TOZO? Entrepreneurs who live across the border and have their business in the Netherlands are not eligible for income support for maintenance in the Netherlands (but they can apply for working capital). It has been agreed at European level that the country of residence is responsible for providing income support (also referred to as social assistance). In Belgium, the PCSW can provide more information on this, and in Germany the Jobcenter. In each country, applicants for social assistance must meet certain requirements.

      Belgium is applying its customary, stricter requirements for social assistance. Please note that this is the usual Belgian social assistance benefit, whose conditions are not comparable to those of the TOZO scheme in the Netherlands. The country in which the Belgian resident has established an enterprise makes no difference. This means that Belgium uses its customary procedure when assessing applications submitted by people who reside in Belgium and have their company across the border (e.g. in the Netherlands). Germany also does not consider the country in which its residents run their business and uses its customary procedure when processing applications submitted by cross-border entrepreneurs.

    2. Where can I find a business partner across the border? A number of Dutch, German and Belgian employers’ associations are cooperating more closely to improve and speed up contact between their affiliated companies so that partnerships can get off the ground more easily. Go to the Euregiolocator website for more information.

  • Grants and subsidies

    1. As a cultural organisation, I cannot meet all the performance agreements in the grant agreement. What does that mean for the grant amount? Will I be getting less? Will I have to pay some of it back? Entrepreneurs in the culture sector can apply for any of the coronavirus support schemes for entrepreneurs. Take a look at the scheme for self-employed persons (TOZO). In addition, we are currently working on incentive schemes for the grant-related performance agreements to help subsidised organisations. We hope to provide more clarity on this in the near future.
    2. I want to apply for a professional arts grant for the 2021-2024 period. When is that possible? Due to the coronavirus crisis, the municipal council’s decision on cutting funding for the arts has been postponed until September. As late as December 2019, this had been scheduled to take place in early July. Grants issued in 2021 and after can only be determined after this decision has been taken. That is why the process of applying for the four-year professional arts grants for the 2021-2024 period will be moved to autumn 2020. Keep an eye on the municipality’s website for publication of the grant scheme.
  • TOZO

    1. Because of the coronavirus measures, I am in acute need of money to pay for basic necessities such as groceries. What can I do? You can apply for an advance payment on the temporary benefit for self-employed persons (TOZO) administered by the municipality. State on the application form that you would like an advance payment and you will receive it as soon as possible. Please note that due to heavy demand, our website is very busy and you may experience some difficulties while applying. If so, please try again later.
    2. Can Maastricht entrepreneurs living in Belgium or Germany apply for the TOZO? Entrepreneurs who live across the border and have their business in the Netherlands are not eligible for income support for maintenance in the Netherlands (but they can apply for working capital). It has been agreed at European level that the country of residence is responsible for providing income support (also referred to as social assistance). In Belgium, the PCSW can provide more information on this, and in Germany the Jobcenter. In each country, applicants for social assistance must meet certain requirements. 

      Belgium is applying its customary, stricter requirements for social assistance. Please note that this is the usual Belgian social assistance benefit, whose conditions are not comparable to those of the TOZO scheme in the Netherlands. The country in which the Belgian resident has established an enterprise makes no difference. This means that Belgium uses its customary procedure when assessing applications submitted by people who reside in Belgium and have their company across the border (e.g. in the Netherlands). Germany also does not consider the country in which its residents run their business and uses its customary procedure when processing applications submitted by cross-border entrepreneurs.
    3. I am an entrepreneur receiving the state pension (AOW). Am I eligible for the TOZO scheme? You are eligible to apply for a loan to supplement your working capital. You cannot apply for income support for maintenance. Click here for more information.
    4. The application asks me to provide a copy of my bank statement. Is that my business account, my private bank account, or both? It means a copy of your private bank account.
    5. My address details are filled in automatically on the application form after I log in with DigiD.  These details are no longer correct, but I cannot change them manually. What should I do? The application process is linked to the name and address details in the municipal personal records database (GBA). You can change these by notifying the municipality in which you live that you have moved. To avoid delay, please go through the application process and e-mail the correct address with your name to noodmaatregelondernemers [at] maastricht.nl.
    6. Will I receive confirmation of receipt when I submit a TOZO application? Yes, you will receive the following message: ‘Your application has been successfully submitted.’ This should be considered as confirmation of receipt of the application.
  • Waiting boxes

    1. What is a waiting box and what does it look like? It’s not always easy to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people, for example in the street or at the entrance/exit to a shop. Maastricht has therefore introduced a system of ‘mandatory pedestrian routes’ [looproutes] and ‘waiting boxes’ [wachtvakken] in the city centre. A waiting box is a marked area on the ground against and along the front of your shop. The idea is for shoppers to wait there so as to prevent crowding inside. The waiting box allows you to direct shoppers along a designated route that you may have in the shop. You can read more about the system in this folder (in Dutch only).

Partners 

The following organisations can help you with free information, training and advice (in Dutch only):

Interested in more tips? Follow the Maastricht Business Team on LinkedIn or Facebook