As several companies and entrepreneurs are struggling due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Dutch Cabinet is taking exceptional measures to support them financially. To ensure this, The Dutch Cabinet has created the Corona Bridge Loan (COL) especially for startups, scaleups and innovative SMEs that have been affected by COVID-19. Previously, it granted €100 million for the impacted startups and scaleups and now it has been supplemented by another €150 million to meet the financial needs of these companies.
The Corona Bridging Loan (COL) is an emergency loan for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs sans a bank credit relationship, who have faced financial difficulties due to COVID-19. It was established in intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), the joint Regional Development Companies (ROMs) and TechLeap.nl along with a close involvement of Invest-NL.
Loans up to €2 million!
Since the debut of COL on April 29, over 1,400 companies have applied for the loan. These companies have applied for loan amounts of over €500 million and the average amount is nearly €360k. The ROMs (Regional Development Companies) provide bridging loans varying from €50,000 to €2 million at favourable requests from the Cabinet.
“We knew that there was a great need for financing, but the number of applications even surprised us. It is a good thing that an additional budget is now available for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. This gives them the financial runway they need to bridge this period and continue their innovations. Because innovations are essential for the future earning potential of the Netherlands and the jobs of tomorrow,” said Rinke Zonneveld (director InnovationQuarter) on behalf of the ROMs.
The ROMs are active as investors in companies through their own funds and funds under management, and are responsible for attracting foreign companies to their region, stimulate innovation among SMEs and strengthen them by boosting partnerships between entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and governments. All ROMs are now active in the field of internationalisation and trade promotion. And, none are active in Utrecht and Noord-Holland. The applications for ROMs from Utrecht and Noord-Holland will be processed by a team of financing professionals.
How COL extension helps businesses?
As the impact of the coronavirus crisis is huge and has affected the startups and scaleups, a majority of the companies are coming across the disappearing demand due to the loss of existing customers or the lack of new customers. And, collecting new financing is a problem for the affected companies. This is why Techleap together with the ROMs and Invest-NL developed an online application portal to let companies submit their application for COVID-19 bridge financing.
CEO Techleap.nl Nils Beers said, “The COL is intended to help startups in dire need. This 150 million euros is an important investment for the preservation of this sector. Startups and scale-ups are a crucial link in the instruments for the restoration of the Netherlands. It is imperative that provinces also start to invest and that measures are taken to promote the restoration.”
Stock photo from Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
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