Coronavirus: aid measures in the Walloon Region

Author: Laurence Philippe (Legal Expert)
Date:

Yesterday, the Walloon Government announced aid measures for employers and the self-employed. To support the Walloon economy, € 233 million are being made available. Below, you will find a detailed overview of these measures.

Flat-rate allowance for certain sectors

The Walloon Region has decided to grant a flat-rate allowance to the affected companies. This allowance depends on the employment sector.

An allowance of 5,000 is granted for each company that has closed completely or that has ceased operating as a result of the decisions of the National Security Council and that belongs to the following sectors:

o Catering;

o Accommodation;

o Travel agencies, tour operators, booking offices and related activities;

o Retail trade.

Companies must belong to these sectors in order to benefit from this allowance. This will be verified on the basis of the NACE codes of the companies.

 

An allowance of 2,500 is granted for each company that has to change its closing days without being closed the whole week as a result of the decisions of the National Security Council. This allowance is granted to hairdressers.

 

The procedure for obtaining these allowances has yet to be further specified, but it will be electronic and accessible from 27 March. Payments will start in April.

Financing instruments

Companies that have obtained loans from a Walloon financial institution (SRIW, GROUPE SOGEPA, SOWALFIN, invests) will be subject to a loan freeze until the end of March. This freeze on outstanding loans may be extended until the end of April.

SOWALFIN (Société wallonne de financement et de garantie des PME) will provide guarantees on the existing credit lines granted by banks. SOGEPA (Société wallonne de gestion et de participations) will facilitate access to credit by strengthening credit guarantees and doubling the credit granted by banks.

Health care, social and employment sectors

Sector of health care and frontline staff

An amount of € 75 million is provided for to support the sector of health care and frontline staff who are experiencing an increase in work. Hospitals, nursing homes, the social work sector and the disability sector will receive financial support for 3 months.

Subsidised sectors

The health care, social work, employment and training sectors which are subsidised according to their activities will receive their subsidies on the basis of the activity of the month of February or the previous year. The drop in activity in these sectors will therefore not lead to a reduction in subsidies for this period. This concerns, among others, hospitals, home care and help services, mental health services, psychiatric care homes, addiction services, family planning, socio-professional integration centres (CISP) and regional employment missions.

Important note! However, in order to maintain the subsidies, these employers are not allowed to make use of temporary unemployment for their employees. We therefore advise you to contact your subsidising authority quickly if you receive subsidies from the Walloon Region pro rata to your activities.

Additional financing has been provided for the service voucher sector.

Flat-rate allowance

A flat-rate allowance is also provided for to compensate for the loss of revenue due to a lower financial contribution of the beneficiaries.

This allowance amounts to € 5,000 per company and is granted for 3 months. This concerns, among others, family support services, day care centres, mental health services, sheltered workshops, service voucher companies, integration companies, approved recycling centres, socio-professional integration centres (CISP), health promotion services.

 

Source: Press release of the Walloon Government, 18 March 2020.