SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean Netherlands will soon be able to submit a new application for a contribution toward their fixed cost from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy EZK. The amount of this fourth EZK compensation can vary between US $425 and $400,000.
In addition, the most affected entrepreneurs can submit a request for flexibility in the use of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment SZW Emergency Regulation for wage cost.
The EZK compensation is for entrepreneurs in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba who have difficulties with their fixed cost due to the COVID-19 crisis. For the fourth compensation, the turnover figures for October, November and December 2020 are compared with turnover figures for the same period in 2019.
The reimbursement factor will be higher than it was for the previous compensation from EZK – 0.85 instead of 0.75. This means that entrepreneurs can now claim a higher compensation amount than in the previous period for an equal percentage of decrease in turnover.
As soon as the regulation is published in the National Gazette (“Landscourant”) in early March, applications can be submitted via an application form. The conditions and working method remain the same as for the third EZK compensation.
The SZW wage cost support will continue mostly unchanged until July 13, 2021. An exception applies from March 1 for companies that are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They are allowed to deploy 25 per cent of the working hours of their employees, while they continue to receive the wage cost subsidy for these hours. This flexibility is intended to allow for a faster start-up when the tourist flow gets back on track and helps to keep employees fit for work.
To determine which companies are most affected, a link is made with the EZK compensation. Only companies that already make use of the SZW emergency regulation and whose application for the third EZK compensation for July-September 2020 shows that they are dealing with a loss of turnover of at least 50 per cent can request the flexibility. This concerns 115 companies in Bonaire, Saba and Statia.
Agreements with regard to this exception have been made in consultation with the employers’ organisations.
To apply for flexibility, companies must submit a request to the SZW Unit of National Department Caribbean Netherlands RCN. After an agreement in writing the employer may determine, in consultation with employees for whom wage cost subsidy is already provided, how and which 25 per cent of their working hours will be used. This may be changed for the duration of the flexibility.
All conditions, additional information about the support regulations and application forms can be found on
http://www.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19, under “Government Emergency Package”.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/additional-support-for-entrepreneurs