Coronavirus: Flemish Protection Mechanism QUATER

Author: Jonas Verplanken (Legal Expert)
Date:

The Flemish Government is once again taking measures to support businesses that have lost turnover as a result of the coronacrisis. This fourth iteration of the Flemish Protection Mechanism addresses the loss of turnover in the months of January and February 2021.

For whom?

In tangible terms, any entrepreneur who suffers a loss of turnover of at least 60% in January or February 2021 as a result of the corona measures will be able to call on the new Flemish Protection Mechanism ‘QUATER’.

Are excluded:

  • Companies in a state of dissolution, cessation of activity, bankruptcy, liquidation;
  • Holdings, management or patrimonial companies;
  • Companies whose managing director is linked as a director, partner or manager to another company that has received the subsidy and to which they provide business services;
  • Companies in arrears with VLAIO following the recovery of corona premiums;
  • Companies in difficulty on 31 December 2019.

Conditions

  • The company will have to demonstrate a loss of turnover of 60% within the reference period.
    • Exception: companies in the hospitality sector (= hotels, restaurants and cafés) do not have to demonstrate this loss of turnover!
  • Only companies with an active business conduct during the reference period will be eligible for the subsidy, unless the company has been compulsorily closed as a result of the corona measures or the normal annual period of closure.
  • The companies must have started up and have an active place of business in Flanders before the first day of the aid period;
  • Companies that were obliged to close down within the reference period may choose to apply for aid only for the period of mandatory closure. The aid then applies on a pro rata basis and the drop in turnover does not have to be demonstrated;
  • Companies that derive 50% or more of their turnover from subcontracting to a closed sector (e.g. suppliers to the hospitality sector) may opt for a reference period that corresponds to the compulsory closure period of that closed sector. However, they will have to demonstrate a 60% drop in turnover.

Exception for the ‘Horeca’ sector:

Managers of cafés and restaurants[1] which are compulsorily closed as a result of the coronavirus measures do not have to demonstrate their drop in turnover. This derogation does not apply to companies whose turnover in the same period of 2020 is the result of takeaway activities for 50% or more. They will therefore have to demonstrate a drop in turnover.

For cafés and restaurants, the subsidy also amounts to 10% of the turnover excluding VAT for the period in 2020 corresponding to the mandatory closure period.

Exception for sectors subject to manadatory closure

No drop in turnover has to be demonstrated if  on 16 November, the main activity of the company falls within the eligible sectors and the company has been mandatorily closed as a result of the coronavirus measures. The subsidy amounts to 10% of the turnover excluding VAT for the period in 2020 corresponding to the mandatory closure period.

The Minister of Economy may amend the list of eligible sectors if additional sectors are required to be closed.

How much?

The aid amounts to 10% of the turnover, excluding VAT, during the same period in 2020. Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation[2] receive 5% aid. For companies that had not yet started up, the drop in turnover is compared with the expected turnover as stated in the financial plan. The aid is granted at company level.

The maximum aid will amount to:

    • o € 7,500 for companies employing < 10 employees
    • o € 15,000 for companies employing10 to 49 employees
    • o € 40,000 for companies employing 50 employees or more
  • The minimum aid is € 600 on a monthly basis (4 weeks);
  • For companies which mainly offer meals[3] and are obliged to use a white cash register, the aid is limited to € 1,500 if they do not have a registered cash register system.

How to apply?

The application can be made via the agency ‘Innoveren en Ondernemen’ (Vlaio),

  • Application January 2021: between 16/2/2021 and 15/3/2021.
  • Application February 2021: between 16/3/2021 and 15/4/2021.

Please note!

The measures as described in this infoflash have not yet been published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

Overview

 

Flemish Protection Mechanism

New Flemish Protection Mechanism (BIS)

Flemish Protection Mechanism (TER)

Flemish Protection Mechanism QUATER

Submit application until

15/11/2020

31/12/2020

 

15/02/2021

JAN21: 15/03/21

FEB21: 15/04/2021

Reference period for drop in turnover

August and September 2020

1/10 - 15/11/2020 OR

19/10 – 15/11/2020

16/11 - 31/12 OR period of mandatory closure

January and February 2021

Drop in turnover

60%

60%

60%

60%

Premium

7.5% of turnover

10% of turnover

10% of turnover

10% of turnover

Minimum amount of premium

 

€ 1,000

€ 1,000

€ 600/month

Maximum amount of premium

€ 15,000

€ 11,250 / € 22,500 /

€ 60,000

OR

€ 7,500 / € 15,000 / € 40,000

 

€ 11,250 / € 22,500 / € 60,000

€ 7,500

€ 15,000

€ 40,000

Legal source

DFG 7/8/20

DFG 23/10/20

DFG 13/11/20

DFG 5/2/21

Source:

  • Decree of the Flemish Government of 5 February 2021 concerning the Flemish Protection Mechanism for companies that have suffered a drop in turnover as a result of the persistent corona measures of 28 October 2020.

 

[1] NACE codes: 56101, 56102 and 56301.

[2] A self-employed person in a secondary occupation who in 2019 has a professional income between € 6,996.89 and € 13,993.78 and is not employed as a wage earner for 80% or more.

[3] Either establishments where meals are consumed on a regular basis or domestic caterers providing catering services on a regular basis.

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