The extension of the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs is now a reality. Innovative entrepreneurs in dire straits because of Covid19 can apply through the portal starting today.
Bridging loans for startups, scale-ups and (innovative) SMEs
The Corona-OverbruggeningsLening (COL) is an emergency loan for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs without a bank credit relationship who have run into financial difficulties due to Covid19. A total of €300 million has been made available by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). At the request of EZK, regional development companies (ROMs) provide bridging loans between €50,000 and €2 million under favorable conditions.
Applications for the COL were initially possible until the end of September. After assessing all applications, there is still over €35 million unused. Given the course of the economic recovery and the remaining COL budget, the Cabinet has decided to extend the scheme until June 30, 2021 at the latest.
Rinke Zonneveld (Director InnovationQuarter) on behalf of the ROMs: "At the start of the COL, we hoped that this arrangement would take a few months and the situation would return to 'normal' by the end of 2020. The practice is unfortunately different. Covid19 still holds the Netherlands and the business community firmly in its grip. We therefore endorse the cabinet's decision to extend the COL scheme to help entrepreneurs through this crisis so that they can continue to innovate. Because innovations are essential to get our economy back on track after the crisis."
Applications possible from Jan. 4, 2021
The online application portal reopens today. Applications will be evaluated according to the tender system used previously. This means that the ROMs will assess applications regionally and a national committee will weigh the applications against each other. In addition to the formal criteria, they will also look at qualitative criteria such as number of FTEs, connection to mission-driven innovation policy, connection to ecosystems and the importance of the innovation. Companies that have previously been awarded a COL cannot reapply.
Maurice van Tilburg of Techleap says, "We are finding that the current increase in Corona cases and related measures are affecting the recovery of startups. For example, obtaining capital and rolling out products is further delayed. We are pleased that the COL will be made available longer and will work with partners to once again facilitate this process through the application portal."