Statia government urges entrepreneurs to make use of additional relief package

The Public Entity of St. Eustatius is urging Statian entrepreneurs to make use of the additional benefits of the second part of the emergency relief package rolled out by the central government.

Sun set st. eustatius
Image: ©Photographer: Jacquil Pandt / Photographer: Jacquil Pandt

On June 19, State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) Raymond Knops sent a letter to the Second Chamber with regards to an extension of the Emergency Package Caribbean Netherlands. Proposals of the Central Dialogue Bonaire and the Central Dialogue St. Eustatius have been largely taken over. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.  

In terms of health, the coronavirus has largely spared the islands. In economic sense, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have been hit hard. The tourism sector on which the economy largely depends, has come to a halt. The consequences of the coronavirus measures are profound for many companies. To prevent employers from having to dismiss employees, there is a temporary emergency regulation for employers on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. Employers can receive a contribution towards labor costs. Independent entrepreneurs or people who were employees, but no longer have an employer because of the coronavirus, can also apply for this emergency regulation. Entrepreneurs and people who have lost their jobs because of the corona crisis will also receive financial support in the coming months. Both the emergency regulation from SZW for support in wage costs and the contribution from the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate (EZK) for fixed business expenses will be extended by a period of four months, until October 12th 2020 at the latest.

Emergency regulation SZW

To prevent employers from having to fire employees, they could already make use of SZW's emergency regulation for the period between March 13th to June 12th, 2020. Independent entrepreneurs or people who no longer have an employer because of the coronavirus, were already entitled to this provision. Due to the continuing impact of the measures regarding the coronavirus, this regulation is extended.

The Temporary subsidy regulation wage costs and income loss CN will be extended for a period of four months until October 12, 2020. The conditions for the second tranche do not deviate much from conditions of the first tranche.

Employers who already use the regulation, do not have to submit a new application. However, they must submit a statement in which they fill in the expected deployment of their personnel until October 12th, 2020. Even if the situation does not change from their original application, a statement must be submitted. After receipt of this statement and after processing the data, the RCN-unit SZW can proceed with further payment. Independent entrepreneurs and former employees who receive the allowance directly do not have to submit a statement. If there are any changes regarding their income, they must, as is currently the case, report this immediately to the RCN unit SZW.

TVL-regulation CN

A follow up to the current Compensation Regulation Fixed Costs (TVL) for the Caribbean Netherlands is being drafted for the period June 13th to October 12th 2020. Companies with high fixed costs can, depending on the size and the extent of turn- over loss, come into consideration for a compensation of their fixed costs.  Further information will follow soon.

Extension and expansion financing instruments

The Guarantee MKB credits and Guarantee Entrepreneurs Financing and Qredits have been opened in the Caribbean Netherlands until the end of this year. This regulation is meant for smaller entrepreneurs who have been affected by the economic consequences of the corona crisis, whereby the national government for a large part (95%) will stand guarantee for a bridging credit of 10,000 euro up to a maximum of 50,000 euro. With the credit facilities mentioned above, the private sector will be supported, but there can be extraordinary situations. Extension fiscal measures

The most important fiscal measure that is included in the emergency packages for the Caribbean Netherlands is the deferment of paying taxes for entrepreneurs who due to the COVID-19 crisis have gotten into liquidity problems. In addition to this, the recovery interest owed due to late payment of tax assessments has been reduced in the Caribbean Netherlands from 6% to 0%.

Extra means for the public entities in connection with additional emergency assistance

Just as in the first tranche, additional means will be made available for suppletory island-specific policy. The means will be divided conform the usual division key among Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, and will be added as soon as possible to the free allowance. From the island-specific policy these means can be used for a compensation towards the necessary costs that a household is unable to pay. The Public Entity of Statia is drafting and own policy of how to expend these funds.

Because the economy has largely come to a standstill, the public entities are missing out on projected revenue, while the expenditures increase. The revenues from local taxes such as the tourist tax, the rental car tax and the airport tax have been largely reduced. On the other hand, the public entities are making additional expenditures in connection with the corona crisis, for example for repatriation, face masks and other hygiene measures. This has consequences for the financial position of the public entities, both in the short term and the long term.

The national government will work closely with the Executive Councils of the public entities and with the social partners in the Caribbean Netherlands. This package has been exchanged with the Executive Councils.

Further information

Because the Ministry of EZK has no implementing organization in the Caribbean Netherlands, the RCN-unit SZW implements this regulation. For further information, please visit https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19/emergency-package-government .