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How to keep your head up in corona times

23 March 2020

For designers, the present circumstances and uncertainties can bring up many questions. The Dutch government has decided to take exceptional economic measures because of the Coronavirus. Find out more about the available regulations and arrangements in this article.

As the coronavirus is spreading, more and more events, like SXSW and Salone del Mobile, are being cancelled. For many designers, this means that their work for those upcoming events, fairs, festivals, and brands has also been cancelled. But the current corona epidemic also leads to a decrease of work for designers working in other segments. How does it affect you and what does it mean for your future as an entrepreneur? What arrangements and facilities are already available? How does the Dutch Government pitch in? The Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) collected some essential tips for designers. 

Please note that the BNO website is Dutch only, yet all information is available in English on request. 

New regulation Emergency Fund for the Preservation of Jobs (NOW)

Do you as an entrepreneur have at least 20% loss of turnover? If so, you can apply for an allowance for labour costs for a period of 3 months (maximum 90% of the payroll). The UWV will provide an advanced payment in order for the staff to receive payment. Read more about the terms and conditions here

Supportive measures for freelancers

The government introduces a temporary, flexible arrangement to support entrepreneurs, including freelancers, enabling them to continue their business. The arrangement will be administered by municipalities. Via an accelerated procedure, self-employed individuals can receive additional income support for living expenses for a period of three months. This supplements the income up to the social minimum and does not have to be repaid. Click here for more information. 

Deferred payment of taxes

Requesting tax deferral has become easier and fines have been reduced. 

Affected entrepreneurs can apply for tax deferrals more easily. If requested, the Tax and Customs Administration will immediately stop the tax recoveries. This applies to income, corporation, wage and turnover taxes (VAT). Any fines for not paying on time do not have to be paid. Moreover, it is not necessary to send evidence immediately. The entrepreneur is allowed more time for this.

The BNO has prepared letter templates for designers and design agencies to be used in their requests (only available to BNO members). BNO members can find the templates here

Please check the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration for more information.

Guarantee SME Credit and Guarantee Entrepreneurial Finance (GO)

To support entrepreneurs, the measure BMKB (SME credit guarantee) has been broadened. The aim is that companies with healthy future prospects can continue to be financed. Here you can read what this means for you.

Companies experiencing difficulties in obtaining bank loans and bank guarantees can benefit from the Entrepreneur Finance Guarantee Scheme (GO).

Banks can submit applications for these credit regulations (BMKB and GO) to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the executive organisation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. In order to qualify, entrepreneurs should apply via their lender. 

Interest rebate for small entrepreneurs on microcredits Qredits (Ministry of Economic Affairs)

Microcredit provider Qredits finances and coaches a large group of small and starting entrepreneurs, who often find it difficult to obtain financing through banks.

Qredits opens up a temporary crisis measure: for small entrepreneurs who are affected by the corona problem, deferral of repayment is offered for a period of six months and during this period the interest rate is automatically reduced to 2%. Read more here. 

Additional information by the Chamber of Commerce

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce provided some helpful information on government measures to help businesses and entrepreneurs. Check it out here.


Want to stay up to date on the effects of the coronavirus? The BNO (ed. Assocation of Dutch Designers) makes an inventory of the impact on the creative sector, advises and informs about the financial consequences and support measures, and monitors the design sector. Follow the Corona page here (in Dutch).

Do you have any ideas how we can support you or other creative entrepreneurs? Share your suggestions, questions, concerns and initiatives via