From 29 April 2020 start-ups and scale-ups can approach Regional Development Agencies (ROMs) for a bridging loan: the Coronavirus Bridging Loan (‘Corona-Overbruggingslening’ (COL)). This additional facility is needed, as such companies, being new customers, are having difficulty obtaining finance from banks due to the coronavirus crisis.
Existing schemes insufficient
Up to now, companies in the above category have largely been financed by means of equity, such as retained earnings, or venture capital. However, they have only been able to take advantage of the credit facilities made available to date as a result of the coronavirus crisis to a limited extent.
Contribution from shareholders expected
The value of the loans that the ROMs will provide will range from € 50,000 to € 2,000,000. For amounts above € 250,000 cofinancing of 25% is expected from shareholders or other investors.
The interest rate on the loans is 3%. A premium of 2% per year is also paid in the case of loans above € 500,000. The loans have a term of three years, but can be repaid early without any penalty.
For loans of up to € 500,000 the aim is to process applications within four to nine working days. In the case of applications exceeding € 500,000 the aim is to come to a definitive decision within three working weeks.
Not for all sectors
Certain sectors are excluded from the scheme. These are the retail, catering and small business services sectors. Independent entrepreneurs also do not qualify for the credit facility. This is because such businesses can also approach an ordinary bank or Qredits for finance.
For more information see the website of the Regional Development Agencies