specific corona measures for tourism, agriculture and horticulture

Tax & Legal
09 April 2020

Specific corona measures for tourism, agriculture and horticulture

The measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus disproportionately affect specific sectors such as tourism, agriculture and horticulture. Measures have been implemented to support floriculture, for example, which is heavily affected. Continuous monitoring of the market is required in order to be able to activate European agricultural and horticultural crisis management instruments in time to prevent even more serious consequences.

Specific corona measures for tourism, agriculture and horticulture

Measures for agricultural and horticultural enterprises

Basic payment scheme application and plot registration

In compensation for the losses experienced by agricultural and horticultural businesses, the Flemish government has delayed the deadline for the basic payment scheme application and plot registration, among other measures. The new deadline is 15 May 2020.

Nuisance compensation and one-off compensation

Agricultural and horticultural businesses that have been forced to close down sales outlets or shops are also eligible for corona nuisance compensation as well as the one-off compensation of €3000 for businesses with over 60% decline in turnover.

Accelerated payments for VLIF programmes

The Flemish Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has enabled accelerated payments for VLIF floricultural programmes and is investigating options for the other sectors.

Mitigation of labour shortage

In anticipation of possible worker shortages, the federal government is doubling the seasonal employment days for 2020. Additionally, the option is being explored to combine temporary unemployment in one sector with temporary employment in a different sector, such as agriculture and horticulture.

Guarantee schem

Businesses in financial difficulties can make use of a guarantee scheme to a maximum of 80%, with a seven-year maturity for the loan and a three-year guarantee. Only businesses with a minimum gross operating profit of €40,000 per operational manager are eligible.

Emergency fund for unsold flowers and plant

Finally, an emergency fund will provide separate compensation for costs incurred due to flowers or plants not being sold in time. 

Further details of these measures will be worked out in the coming days and weeks.

Measures for the tourism sector

A budget of €5 million will be allocated to the tourism sector, with an initial focus on small social projects and organisations. Toerisme Vlaanderen will waive youth hostels’ rental obligations for the year.

In addition to hotels, holiday homes and apartments, campsites, holiday parks, B&Bs, hostels and camps may also claim corona nuisance compensation if they were forced to close their restaurant, breakfast area, bar or other communal areas. Holiday accommodations that are (partially) not subject to mandatory closure can still apply for one-off compensation

If you require further information about these measures, please don’t hesitate to contact us at subidies@vdl.be