Where to find help in times of crisis?

In these times of crisis due to corona, you might need a sounding board. Someone who takes a look at your current situation and the future of your company. An advisor who is objective and independent and who provides help and insight. Who knows the (im)possibilities of financial schemes and who helps you apply for them. But also someone who listens to non-financial questions. This article provides an overview of available support in times of crisis.

If you have any questions, you can always contact the Chamber of Commerce KVK Advice Team on 0800 2117. We understand your concerns, also in these difficult times. We answer your questions and think along with you about solutions. In addition, the organisations below can provide in-depth help, often for a longer period of time.

Regional support

There are various initiatives that offer support in your region, municipality, or province. Call the KVK Advice Team for options in your area.

Things to consider

Some of the organisations listed in this article offer help and guidance through a coach. What should you pay attention to when you enter such a coaching program?

  • You will work together with your coach. Participate actively, but stay in control.
  • You share information in accordance with the privacy regulations of the support organisation in question. In the case of highly confidential company data, ask for an additional non-disclosure agreement.
  • Provide an up-to-date business plan. This will give you a stronger position when talking to financiers.

Do you want to talk and spar about your future plans or about ending your business? Call the KVK Advice Team: 0800 2117.

1. General information and advice

Dutch Association of Insurers

This industry association for insurers in the Netherlands operates at the intersection of government, politics, and society. The association informs and advises on corona-related matters regarding insurance and insurance companies. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Dutch Debt Relief Route (NSR)

The Dutch Debt Relief Route is a unique public-private partnership with the aim of making the Netherlands financially healthy. They do this by finding and guiding people and companies with money worries (in Dutch) at an early stage to the help they need. Visit the website (in Dutch).

FNV Self-employed

The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, FNV) provides advocacy, help, and support for self-employed professionals. They offer an overview of arrangements, FAQs for self-employed during the corona crisis, and regular polls among members. In addition, they offer legal assistance, advice on contracts and general terms and conditions, and legal support in conflicts with clients. You will also find courses, workshops and webinars aimed at independent professionals. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK

KVK is the central contact point for entrepreneurs for independent customised advice and specific referrals. Call 0800 21 17. Find information about support schemes, financing options, and advice on whether to end or continue your business at our Business in trouble page. Visit the website.

VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland

The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Royal Association MKB-Nederland represent business interests in the Netherlands. They provide information, advice, and Q&As for entrepreneurs about coronavirus, international business and travel, working from home, hygiene measures, and medical information. You will find industry-specific protocols for all sectors and corona calculator (in Dutch) for calculating support measures. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Enterprising Netherlands (ONL)

This association advocates for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. They provide an overview of the most important regulations, measures, and (government) counters. You can get inspiration on how the Netherlands can pull through the crisis, including working (from home), keeping your distance, healthcare, financial, and industry-specific ideas. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Government.nl

Government.nl provides up-to-date government information, including the support and recovery measures with financial schemes for entrepreneurs/employers and social measures. They offer information about the support measures, protocols, sectors, companies, job loss, education, and debt prevention. Visit the website.

TechLeap

TechLeap offers startups support in all kinds of disciplines of entrepreneurship. Techleap works closely with various governments, knowledge institutions, investors, and startups. Your startup will receive help during the corona crisis with the following initiatives:

  • Office Hours: Participate in the biweekly Office Hours webinars, on Tuesday and Thursday. In the Office Hours webinars, 2 experts talk to founders about challenges that have arisen due to the corona crisis.
  • COVID-19 Startup Guide: This toolkit contains all relevant sources and contacts for startups in the Netherlands. Techleap.nl keeps this toolkit continuously up-to-date.
  • Free Expert Consultations: Consult experts on topics such as cost reduction, labour law, taxes, and management in times of crisis. Visit the website.

ZZP Nederland Foundation

Stichting ZZP Nederland engages in advocacy for self-employed professionals at ministries. The foundation has direct connections with implementing organisations. They provide an overview of all regulations, measures, and associated FAQs. They also have a helpdesk for business questions for affiliated subscribers. Visit the website (in Dutch).

National Institute for Family Finance Information (NIBUD)

This independent foundation offers information and advice on (household) finances, also for self-employed professionals and private households of entrepreneurs. They provide professionals with information on debt prevention, financial behaviour change, reference figures, and budget coaching. Visit the website.

Business.gov.nl

This Point of Single Contact website provides information and advice for entrepreneurs in partnership with the KVK Chamber of Commerce, Tax Administration, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), and other government organisations. The content focuses on topics such as rules and regulations, laws, debts, financing, ending your business, personnel, and sales. Visit the website.

Platform for Self-employed Professionals (PZO)

This organisation advocates for the self-employed, offers entrepreneurial support, and promotes cooperation for the benefit of independent entrepreneurs. It provides independent advice to members on occupational disability, liability, GDPR, and pension. Moreover, the platform offers information about TOZO and TVL, tax extensions and loans, credit guarantees for SMEs (BMKB), mortgage payments, and credit applications. Visit the website (in Dutch).

2. Personalised support and advice

Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IMK)

This consulting organisation has as its mission to support entrepreneurs in assessing viability, developing entrepreneurial competences, starting a business, financing, managing conflicts, and guiding in the sale of a business. In short, they provide expert support at the critical moments for your company. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Mediators Federation Netherlands (MFN)

Are you having a conflict? Mediation is the route to find a solution together, without the involvement of a lawyer or judge. A mediator with demonstrable qualities can be found in the Dutch Quality Register of Mediators. Visit the website (in Dutch).

155 Help a company

155 Help een bedrijf (Help a company) has online tools that help with all kinds of problems. Think of declining turnover, increasing debts, or customers who do not pay your invoices. 155 also helps in the event of conflicts, a divorce, or imminent seizure by the Tax Administration. 155 Help een bedrijf is an initiative of the Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IMK). Every year it supports hundreds of entrepreneurs with urgent requests for help. Many municipalities offer this guidance free of charge to entrepreneurs. The first contact is always free of charge. Visit the website (in Dutch).

DNZO Foundation

The Dutch Business for Entrepreneurs Foundation (De Nederlandse Zaak voor Ondernemers, DNZO) leads you back on the right track when you are in trouble and supports you in solving business problems. Students from higher vocational education and independent former entrepreneurs provide support and offer a guidance program if you are in need. They do this in collaboration with municipalities that refer entrepreneurs in need to the support staff. They will help you in the region for six months with concrete guidance with financial and/or commercial business problems. The rates may differ per regional 'matter'. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN)

This trade association supports the hospitality sector with advocacy, information, advice, member service, and local support. They provide up-to-date corona information, financial arrangements, corona measures, renting,  staff and collective labour agreement, corona tools, BUMA/SENA compensation, FAQs, saving money during corona, starting in corona times. Visit the website.

Over Rood Foundation

This voluntary, non-profit organisation guides and supports independent entrepreneurs with debts, insufficient income, payment arrears, administrative arrears, tax (return) arrears, and business termination for financial reasons. You can contact one of their 12 branches. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Qredits Mentoring

In times of crisis, Qredits offers a new form of coaching. They understand that in addition to financial problems, you might have more questions. How do I deal with my staff when there is no income? What steps can I take commercially now? What changes can I make to my product or service? Sometimes it helps if you can spar about these questions. You can contact a Qredits mentor for this. Visit the website.

nlgroeit platform

This is a platform by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs with a turnover from 1 million euros. nlgroeit (‘nl is growing’) helps entrepreneurs and their companies to grow by, among other things, linking them to experienced mentors. nlgroeit now also offers extra support to entrepreneurs who are affected by corona and have a turnover of at least half a million euros. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Ondernemersklankbord Foundation (OKB)

Ondernemersklankbord ('entrepreneurs soundboard', OKB) offers six-month coaching programs to starters, self-employed professionals, and (small) SMEs with all their entrepreneurial questions, including imminent bankruptcy. OKB helps entrepreneurs throughout the country with 300 coaches/advisors. These are former entrepreneurs and specialists who were active in the corporate world. They share their extensive experience and specific professional knowledge on a volunteer basis. Due to the corona crisis, OKB's services are currently free of charge. Visit the website (in Dutch).

MKB Doorgaan Foundation

MKB Doorgaan ('SME moving forward') helps with early detection of problems and free assistance to the self-employed professionals and SMEs. Entrepreneur get insight into their business viability and advice on next steps such as refinancing, adjusting strategy, coaching, or debt settlement. They cooperate with banks, the Tax Administration, accountancy firms, and a network of 160 specialised parties who will help with further support. Visit the website.

3. Creditors

Royal Professional Organization of Judicial Officers (KBvG)

The KBvG handles themes of debt collection, foreclosures, and debt issues. Relevant products in corona times are the Debt Guide (schuldenwijzer, in Dutch) and 'Calling is solving' (Bellen is oplossen, in Dutch). Visit the website.

Vastgoed Belang real estate association

This is an association for private landlords of homes, offices, shops, and other real estate. They provide information about making payment arrangements and/or rent adjustment. Visit the website (in Dutch).

4. Financing

Crowdfunding Netherlands

This is an industry association of crowdfunding platforms for corporate finance. They aim to further strengthen the development of crowdfunding as an instrument for additional financing and investment and to make it more sustainable. The association developed a crowdfunding scan that entrepreneurs can use to check which crowdfunding platform best suits their financing needs. Visit the website (in Dutch).

SME Financing Foundation

This independent organisation aims to improve access for entrepreneurs to the non-bank financing market. They also want to increase access to customer-oriented and appropriate financing and provide financing advice for entrepreneurs. The foundation provides an overview of acknowledged financiers. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

The Dutch government is committed to fostering an excellent business climate. Ministries draw up policies to reach this goal. The task of implementing these policies lies with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). RVO implements various schemes from the corona support and recovery package. They also offer information about doing business and the coronavirus per country/region. Visit the website.

Association of Cooperating Credit Unions (VSK)

This is an interest group and partnership between 24 credit unions. These credit unions focus on cooperative lending to SMEs as an alternative to banks. So, financing of entrepreneurs by other entrepreneurs, not for profit. Entrepreneurs receive both credit and coaching. Credit unions are regionally or sector-oriented. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Factory & Asset-Based Financing Association Netherlands (FAAN)

This industry association is committed to the factoring industry and its customers. They aimed to strengthen and improve a healthy factoring market in order to increase the financeability of businesses. Factoring is a form of financing for companies in which working capital is made available to a debtor by buying their accounts receivable. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Qredits

Qredits is a social credit provider. Does the corona crisis affect your company? Qredits currently offers a new form of financing: the corona bridging loan. This is a special financing product for entrepreneurs to bridge this corona crisis financially. Sounds interesting? Then apply online for a bridging loan from Qredits. Visit the website (in Dutch)

Dutch Banking Association

This is an umbrella organisation of the Dutch banks. The corona monitor provides insight into bank financing to entrepreneurs and private individuals. Provides an overview of relevant links and a corona news overview. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Credit Union Netherlands (KN)

This credit union helps entrepreneurs to unite in professional, small-scale, local credit cooperatives. A credit union was established per industry or region, through which entrepreneurs finance and coach each other without a profit motive and on a volunteer basis. There is a Credit Union Supervision Act. KN has established 45 common bond credit unions, of which 22 credit unions are active. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Regional Development Corporations in the Netherlands

These corporations focus on strengthening the regional economy. A special financing option they offer is the Corona bridging loan (COL). This corona financing is intended for startups, scale-ups, and innovative SMEs in difficult times. Visit the website.

Dutch Tax and Customs Administration

The Tax Administration offers support for citizens and companies affected by the corona crisis. They offer information about corona measures such as special payment extensions and the consequences for your tax return, help with tax debts, and what to know when starting or closing down your company. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Municipalities in the Netherlands

Self-employed professionals can get into (temporary) financial problems that threaten the survival of their company. In certain cases, they can then rely on the Decree on Social Assistance to the Self-Employed (Bbz) for income support or a loan, or support in the event of business termination. Read more.

Debt assistance from your municipality

Self-employed professionals can turn to their municipality for debt assistance as well. Based on the Municipal Debt Assistance Act (Wgs, in Dutch), municipalities provide debt assistance to private individuals and entrepreneurs with problematic debts. This applies to natural persons such as owners of a sole proprietorship, self-employed professionals, partners in a general partnership, and director-major shareholders (DGA) of a private limited company, who are personally in trouble because of the company. Contact your municipality.

5. Mental health support for entrepreneurs

MIND Correlation

MIND Korrelatie is a national organisation that offers professional, psychological, and psychosocial help anonymously. MIND Korrelatie provides individual advice and help to anyone who asks for it, both by telephone and online. Psychologists and social workers listen to you, offer advice, and refer you if necessary. Visit the website (in Dutch).

De Luisterlijn (The Listening Line)

Are you worried, or are you having a hard time? The Listening Line is available day and night, all year round, for people who need a confidential conversation. You can reach the Luisterlijn every day of the week by chat and 24/7 by phone via 088 076 70 00. More than 1,500 volunteers, who have received training and guidance from expert professionals, are there to listen. Visit the website (in Dutch).

113 Suicide Prevention Foundation

113 Suicide Prevention is the national organisation for suicide prevention. People with suicidal tendencies and their loved ones can anonymously call on the online help 24/7, which includes crisis lines, online therapy, and self-help. Visit the website.

The please-dó-call-me-register

These times can be challenging for your mental health. How do you cope with situations that are stressful, uncertain, or feel unsafe? Do you want to vent your feelings? Would you like to talk to someone who listens and helps you sort your thoughts? The please-dó-call-me-register is available for a free consultation with a psychologist. Visit the website.

Labour market regions in the Netherlands

You can get help with reorientation from entrepreneurs, including training and orientation towards paid employment. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Geldfit Zakelijk

As an entrepreneur, you can go to Geldfit Zakelijk (‘money fit business') for help with your financial situation. An online test (in Dutch) gives you immediate insight into how your company is doing financially. You can also get an overview of where you can go for help. Such as websites with useful tips, online guidance, or help for entrepreneurs in your area. This is how they help you to keep your company financially fit. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Industry association for debt counselling, social banking, and administration (NVVK)

This industry association for debt counselling and financial service organisations, such as municipalities and public and private organisations. Entrepreneurs with a viable business can turn to a number of NVVK members for assistance, including debt settlement. There is a knowledge hub for professionals. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Netherlands Institute for Register Valuators (NIRV)

This is the professional association for register valuators, financial experts who specialise in determining the value of a company. The members can be found on the NIRV website, including their specific area of expertise. On the website you can request an expert. The NIRV then nominates an expert register valuator. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Register of Tax Advisers

This Register of Tax Advisers is the professional association of tax specialists that knows the fiscal side to your SME practice very well. They are happy to advise you on the right tax steps for your company. Find a tax adviser near you. Visit the website (in Dutch).

SRA

This association consists of 375 accountancy firms with 900 branches, working in and for SMEs. An extensive corona file has been published on their Dutch website. Visit the English page.

Professional Association for Business Transfer Specialists (BOBB)

This professional association represents more than 100 affiliated takeover advisers. The takeover advisor is the process facilitator for the purchase and sale of companies. Visit the website (in Dutch).

Employment Insurance Agency (UWV)

UWV offers retraining or further training of employees, dismissal, or the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW). UWV helps employers with these and other current employment issues. Visit the website (in Dutch).

ZUYD LEGALlab

ZUYD LEGALlab is your partner in the prevention of legal problems. They provide first-line legal services for frequently occurring legal questions. Thanks to their preventive approach, they also avoid lengthy, tedious, and expensive procedures. Visit the website (in Dutch).

InfoPage