The coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses worldwide. Almost all companies, big or small, have felt some impact due to the pandemic’s effect. However, efforts are being taken all over the world to ensure that businesses get the required help during these trying times. Similarly, startups, scaleups, and SMEs in Amsterdam that require funds to get through the pandemic now have an option to apply for a Corona Bridging Loan (COL).
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Bridging loan for Amsterdam startups, scaleups and innovative SMEs
In order to help startups, scaleups and Small or Medium Enterprise businesses, the Cabinet announced allocation of €100 million for bridge loans. This was arranged by intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the joint ROMs and TechLeap.nl, along with close involvement of Invest-NL. One can apply for the COL from April 29.
State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), Mona Keijzer, said, “In these exceptional and difficult times, the cabinet is making financial support more accessible to all entrepreneurs. Startups and scale-ups are of great importance for the future of our economy and our society as they provide income, jobs and contribute with their innovative products and services to solving global challenges – such as the corona crisis. That is why the cabinet is now investing 100 million euros in bridging loans that will allow our growth companies to get through these difficult months.”
Here’s how to apply for a bridging loan today!
Applications for bridging loans will be accepted starting 9 AM on April 29. One needs to submit an application for COL via the Techleap portal, which can be accessed here. Do note that only online submitted applications will be considered and processed. The COL loan ranges from €50,000 till €2 million and is distributed by the Regional Development Agencies (ROM’s) with a total budget of €100 million.
In addition to the COL, there’s also Tijdelijk Overbruggingskrediet Innovatieve Start en Scale ups or TOPSS. It is a convertible loan above €2 million, which covers at most 50% of the required investment. InvestNL is tasked with the distribution of TOPSS, with a budget of €100 million. Similar to COL, one can apply for TOPSS via the Techleap portal.
When asked Arthur Hendriks, Funding and R&D subsidy advisor, Fundit, about the Corona Bridge Loan scheme. Hendriks says, “I think the COL can definitely help startups. The rules and regulations seem well balanced on a first glance.”
Commenting on how it can solve problems for startups affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Hendriks adds, “This special scheme assists to fill in a (due to Covid19) liquidity gap for 9 months based on a liquidity prognosis (for investments or working capital) for the coming 12 months. The level of detail and comprehension required in the business plan has to be verified. The government will act quickly but they won’t just hand out money. Most of the startups and scaleups won’t have their 2019 accounts finalised, so in order to comply with that requirement, will take some time and communication with accountants to comply with.”
Points to consider
If you are deliberating on applying for the loan, certainly some questions might arise in your mind. Here are some pointers for helping you better understand the bridging loan.
- Those applying for the loans need to ensure that there is no existing bank credit.
- The loan amount will be based on a company’s liquidity gap for 9 months, which one needs to include in a 12-month liquidity prognosis. Initialisation month for the 9 month period is not fixed and can be set as required by the applicant.
- Alongside the loan application, one also needs to submit a pre corona and post corona liquidity prognosis.
- The loan term is of 3 years with interest on all loan types set to 3%. Companies can repay the loan early without incurring any penalty.
- For loan requests between €250-500k, 25% co-financing is required from the applicant’s business shareholders or other investors. A loan for an amount over the stipulated value would come with a convertible.
- Since COL and TOPSS are emergency schemes, proof of impact on an applicant’s business due to coronavirus is required.
- Entrepreneurs must also have taken cost-reducing measures that are reasonably expected from them, at the moment.
You can go through the detailed FAQs here.