Criteria Corona Bridging Loan (COL) for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs announced; applications possible from April 29

On April 7, the Cabinet announced to allocate €100 million for bridging loans for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. As of April 29, these companies can apply for a Corona Bridging Loan (COL). This scheme was created in intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the joint ROMs and with also close involvement of Invest-NL.

Loans on favorable terms

Regional Development Companies (ROMs) will provide the bridging loans on favorable terms at the request of the Cabinet. The amounts of the loans vary between €50,000 and €2 million. For amounts above €250,000, 25% co-financing is expected from shareholders or other investors.

A uniform interest rate of 3% is applied and maturities are tailored to the target group. More info on terms is in the Q&A. The aim is to assess and process applications under €500,000 within four to nine working days. For applications above €500,000, the aim is to reach a final decision within three working weeks.

More information on criteria and applications can be found at

The COL is explicitly an emergency instrument due to the economic situation resulting from the Covid19 outbreak. This means that entrepreneurs must be able to demonstrate that they need this loan because of the current economic situation, but that they basically have a sustainable and healthy future perspective. Also, entrepreneurs must have taken cost-reducing measures that you can reasonably expect them to take at this time.

Additional measures for startups and scale-ups

Startups and scale-ups are suffering greatly from the corona crisis: a survey by shows that 55% of companies are seeing a drop in demand due to the loss of existing customers or the absence of new customers. Raising the necessary, new funding is a problem for this group under current conditions. This is because startups and scale-ups and other non-bank-financed companies have no or limited access to the measures previously announced by the cabinet aimed at debt-financed companies.

State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK): "In these exceptional and harsh times, the government is making financial support more accessible to all entrepreneurs. For the future of our economy and society, startups and scale-ups are of great importance: they provide the income and jobs of tomorrow and contribute with their innovative products and services to solving global challenges - such as the corona crisis. That is why the government is now investing 100 million euros in bridging loans that will help our growth companies get through these difficult months."

Applications possible from April 29

Starting Wednesday, April 29, 9 a.m., it will be possible to submit an application through a special online portal. Only applications submitted online will be considered. Through this portal developed together with, applications can also be submitted for funding up to €5 million which Invest-NL and the ROMs will look at jointly. The link to the portal will be published on the ROMs' joint website.


We can imagine that business owners or investors have questions about the COL facility. We have created a comprehensive Q&A addressing all the details of the Corona Bridging Loan. It can be found at this link.

Infographic COL