Out There, Right Now

COVID-19 Programmes & Measures for Entrepreneurs

Business Station
Sat 18 Apr

This page aims to give an overview of the most urgent measures that are in place or will be in place soon. The Business Station team is trying to keep up with all that is going on in our sector to give you a quick overview of where to go and what to do.

The list below starts with national governmental programs for entrepreneurs. Secondly, we list local Rotterdam measures. The third section lists interesting sectoral initiatives.

Please, be advised that some referrals link to Dutch pages. Where available, we have grouped the Dutch and the English versions together. 

National Scale Measures

General Overview

Freelancers (zzp-ers)

  • Check the Temporary financial support measure for self-employed professionals (TOZO) in the next section. The application of this measure goes through your local municipality.

A business owner with employees



Kamer van Koophandel / Chamber of Commerce

  • The Chambre of Commerce is lending a helping hand to all entrepreneurs. The ‘KVK Coronaloket’ can be reached by telephone weekdays from 8.30 - 17.00 at 0800-2117.

Local Rotterdam Measures

Page by the municipality of Rotterdam ‘provides an overview of the measures that can support your company. This page will keep you informed of the latest developments and will provide answers to frequently asked questions from entrepreneurs.’ Measures against Coronavirus and the same page in the Dutch language.


  • All entrepreneurs and freelancers in Rotterdam get deferred payment of municipal taxes (property tax, waste and sewage charges, taxes, advertising and sufferance tax) for three months. This happens automatically and you do not have to do anything. Also, all recovery processes pertaining to this measure are held for three months.
  • As the government has decided the municipality reduced the recovery rate (invorderingsrente) from 4% to 0.01%.
  • Suspending BIZ-tax: the imposition of all BIZ (Bedrijven Investeringszone) liabilities in 2020 are provisionally suspended. Further notice follows when there is clarity.
  • Temporary financial support measure for self-employed professionals (TOZO). Income support and loan for business capital. If you are a self-employed professional (zzp-er), you will be able to apply to your municipality for the temporary financial support measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo) with retroactive effect from 1 March 2020. Download an infographic with the application workflow. (In Dutch: Tijdelijke Overbrugging Zelfstandig Ondernemer (TOZO). Inkomensondersteuning en leningen. Met de tijdelijke overbruggingsregeling zelfstandig ondernemers (TOZO) kun je onder meer een lening voor bedrijfskapitaal aanvragen tot maximaal 10.157 euro. Deze lening wordt verstrekt onder gunstige voorwaarden en is bedoeld voor zelfstandig ondernemers, onder wie zzp’ers). Download an infographic with the application workflow.  Application through Rotterdam.nl (with DigiD).

Sectoral Initiatives

Beroepsorganisatie Nederlandse Ontwerpers (BNO)

The Association of Dutch Designers is keeping a ‘dossier’ of all developments:

  • Dossier Corona. ‘De lobby van de BNO, financiële gevolgen en maatregelen en de temperatuur in de branche. Het dossier wordt steeds bijgewerkt.’
  • Beroepsorganisatie Nederlandse Ontwerpers (BNO). FAQ & Downloads. All creatives (also non-members) can get in contact through meldpuntcorona@bno.nl. Please mention your question and your phone number in the mail message and BNO will get back to you.
    Members of the association can get additional support:
    – info@bno.nl general information
    – juridischadvies@bno.nl legal advice
    – zakelijkadvies@bno.nl business advise.


We receive many questions from members about the coronavirus. Thousands of freelancers suddenly lose all their work and income. Here’s what you need to know and do: English and Dutch.

Legal Help

Do you have any questions about your situation and you are a member of the Kunstenbond please call our legal helpdesk. Available workdays from 1 pm to 5 pm, via 020-2108052. You can also send an email to juridischadvies@kunstenbond.nl

Damages Hotline / Meldpunt Schade

Kunstenbond supported by ‘de Creatieve Coalitie’ set up ‘a special webpage, where you as a freelancer in the cultural and creative sector can report your cancellations due to the Coronavirus. You can choose which information to share about the event, planned date and lost income. We will not share your information with a third party, but it will be used to make an overview of the impact that these measurements have.’ Share your story here.

Cultuur + Ondernemen

‘Hoe weet je of je recht hebt op overheidssteun? Waar moet je als toezichthouder op letten in deze crisisperiode? Of je nu maker of bestuurder bent, zzp'er of voor een organisatie werkt: wij bundelen de meest gestelde vragen in deze coronacrisis én de antwoorden daarop.’ Met FAQ voor kunstenaars, makers en zzp'ers, voor culturele organisaties en voor bestuurders en toezichthouders. (no English page available on this topic).

And on a lighter note…


Het Nieuwe Instituut Online

  • Het Nieuwe Instituut has been forced to suspend an important part of its public function. The radical and disruptive character of COVID-19 for society, the design world and our personal communities has not been lost on us. At the same time, COVID-19 prompts us to reflect on how Het Nieuwe Instituut can be of lasting significance for our audience and supporters. We have an assignment, and we also feel the need, to provide inspiration, starting points and possible perspectives.’

Venture Café Virtual Thursday Gathering

  • ‘Venture Café Rotterdam (VCR) is part of a local and global community that gathers hundreds of innovators every week through the #ThursdayGathering. We’re convening our community online, via Zoom, and offering the #ThursdayGathering programming in a Virtual format.
    You can join our #VCRVirtual gathering every Thursday from 17:00-20:00 CET. It’s just like the in-person gathering. Please note that the check-in button will become visible on Thursdays at 16:30.’

Boekmanstichting, Kenniscentrum voor kunst, cultuur en beleid

Belgian Perspective

  • The Financial Battlefield Called Corona. "I have no income. Zero. Zilch". This cry of distress from a singer-cabaret artist is by no means the only one among the 425 responses that have already reached the digital hotline of Belgian artists’ platform State of the Arts’.

WdKA, Beyond Social

  • Finally, our collogues from Social Practices have gathered a lot of relevant sources through their Beyond Social website. For business content scroll down to or cmd-F ‘Financial Aid / Worker’s rights’. And also enjoy all other beautiful content they have gathered at Beyond Social platform.

WdKA, Business Station

First 5 Years: Make It Work - a series of online conversations organised by WdKA Business Station.

We will share experiences on how to make a living from art and design through our First 5 Years platform. Naturally, we will also talk to our guests about their dealings with the business consequences of COVID-19. Make It Work is the viral equivalent of the regular First 5 Years event where every Thursday at 16:00 we invite creative professionals to talk about their experiences in setting up their careers.


Header image: Business Station Identity designed by ikbenlotte.

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