FAQ coronacrisis: tips

The measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have enormous consequences for everyone in the arts and cultural sector. Organisations and self-employed people can make use of (financial) support for entrepreneurs offered by the government. Specific measures have also been taken to support the cultural sector. Explore what you can do in order to get through this period as well as possible.

Support students

DUO corona measures
The Education Executive Agency (DUO) wants to help students and former students who encounter (financial) problems as a result of the coronavirus, for example because you don’t have work anymore. Students entitled to studyfinancing from DUO, can borrow extra money, for example to be able to pay  tuition fees. Those paying back money can request a repayment-free period. If you experience a study delay you can receive a compensation. These allowances have been extended until August 2021.

National Education Program
Everyone who studies in the academic year 2021-2022 will receive a discount on tuition, course or tuition fees. The government has decided this through the National Education Program to give students financial breathing space. You can now look up what this means for you as a student in higher education. The rates mentioned are part of a bill that is in preparation and are only final once the law has been passed.

Study programmes are doing everything they can to limit study completion delay, and thus additional costs, as much as possible. Check with your own study programme what you can do about this yourself. AHK-students can contact their student counsellor.

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Financing of training

Support for self-employed people

There are a number of measures to support entrepreneurs with allowances, loans and tax measures. The most relevant measures are:

Assistance for self-employed people (TOZO)
Self-employed people can apply for financial assistance and a loan via the Tijdelijke Overbruggingsregeling voor Zelfstandig Ondernemers (Temporary Transitional Arrangement for Self-employed Persons, TOZO). The most important condition is that you meet the hour criterion, whereby at least 1,225 hours a year are worked within your own company. This is an easing of the Social Assistance (Self-Employed Persons) Decree (Besluit bijstand zelfstandigen, Bbz). The allowance amounts to €1,500 per month. You can do the TOZO-check (in Dutch) to see if you qualify and submit an application with the municipality where you are registered. The partner's income counts too. The TOZO 4 will run until June 2021 and it will be extended with three months, called TOZO 5. Please note: entrepreneurs under the age of 27 who follow government-funded education and receive student finance cannot claim TOZO. Also international students are not likely to qualify, submitting an application for TOZO might cause problems with the IND/visa. Therefor, international students: always check your personal situation before at the City hall or Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).

Compensation for entrepreneurs in affected sector (TOGS) Closed
This arrangement was aimed at entrepreneurs (SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises) who work from a property they own or rent, are seeing their turnover disappear and, for example, have to continue paying the rent for their business premises. The allowance amounts to €4,000 and could be spent freely. You qualified if your company complies with the conditions and your main activity was registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK) under a required SBI code (in Dutch).

Fixed Costs Allowance (TVL)
The allowance is for SME entrepreneurs and self-employed people who lose a lot of turnover due to the corona crisis and therefore experience problems with paying their fixed costs. How much you receive depends on the revenue loss and your industry. The maximum amount per company per three months is € 330,000 euros. The scheme will be extended four times for three months up to and including September, 2021.

Tax measures
You can apply for, among other things, a ‘special deferment of payment’ (bijzonder uitstel van betaling). This is possible for all assessments, therefore also for the turnover tax (VAT), income tax, corporation tax and wage tax and national insurance contributions. You submit an application for this payment extension in writing and send this by post to the Tax and Customs Administration. It is also possible to submit the application digitally. You can receive a three-month deferment of payment with this.

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Commissioned work

Support for employers and employees

Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW)
Entrepreneurs can be reimbursed up to 85% of their wage costs with the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Employment (NOW) if they lost at least 20% turnover. The NOW3.0 runs up to July 2021, the conditions and reimbursement percentages are adjusted every three months.

TOFA Closed
Flex workers and on-call workers who earned 400 euros or more in February 2020 and who were not able to claim any other benefit could report to the UWV till the 12th of July 2020 for a monthly amount of 550 euros (for March, April and May 2020).

Support housing costs

Temporary Support Necessary Costs (TONK)
Are you a self-employed person, entrepreneur, employee or job seeker and do you have financial problems? Can you no longer pay necessary costs such as housing costs? You can apply for this support scheme from 1 March 2021 for a maximum of six months. Check under which conditions your municipality can support you. Note: this can differ per municipality. View the Amsterdam scheme here.

Responsible management, coordination

Management during the coronacrisis
Cultuur+Ondernemen (Culture+Entrepreneurship) has made a good checklist about assessing lost income and acute problems, making a risk analysis, communication to employees, financial backers and partners, as well as other focus points at a time of crisis.

Helpdesk international cooperation
Information about the consequences for international cultural cooperation from DutchCulture.


Do you receive a subsidy? It may be the case that you are no longer able to fulfil the agreements as a result of coronavirus measures. Most funds describe on their website how they want to deal with this situation. Check what you have to do there.

Are you planning to apply for subsidy? Check out the possibilities and start writing. Look at other options to finance your plans as well. There are several subsidies available for projects related to the corona crisis. For example at the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

Specific measures cultural sector
In a letter to parliament, the minister announced specific measures for the institutions and makers subsidized by the government. She calls on institutions to keep agreements made with self-employed professionals. National cultural funds can take specific measures to support the sector. Therefore an additional amount of more than € 15 million euro has been made available. Institutions can claim additional support, for which € 300 million and an additional € 482 million has been made available. In addition, € 385 million has been made available for a guarantee fund for the events sector. This allowed preparations to take place for events in 2021.

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Further development

Career advice
Do you want to develop or retrain? From August 2020, workers and jobseekers can follow a development process free of charge with a qualified career counselor. A career counselor can support you in choosing the right (additional) training or give you tips when searching and applying for work. This initiative is called NL leert door. Free online training courses are also offered.

Think about the development of your professional practice. What do you want to work towards? Would you like to retrain, start with a new revenue model or deepen your knowledge about entrepreneurship? There are numerous providers and opportunities to break new ground.

Get inspired and stay informed

Art in quarantine is taking on many new forms. Visit the website of your professional association: tips and best practices are being shared there on how you can continue working regardless in a new way. Read newsletters, background articles or listen to a podcast. Get inspired!

Developments in the sector and measures from the government are coming in quick succession. Keep an eye on the news via the official channels, such as websites of the central government and Kunsten ’92, the interest group for arts, culture and heritage.