Wage subsidy entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs suffering a turnover loss of at least 20 per cent per March 13th, can apply for a wage subsidy to help cover the costs of their employees. Entrepreneurs can receive a compensation of up to 80 percent of the maximized daily wage for their employees for whom there is no work or only partial during the corona crisis. One of the conditions is that the employer may not dismiss personnel. Another condition is that they can’t go to work. The compensation is also for employees with a zero-hour contract. The wage subsidy is in first instance for 3 months, with the possibility of extension for another 3 months. The Social Affairs and Labor (SZW) unit of the Caribbean Netherlands Government Department (RCN) is in charge of executing this measure.
Persons who have lost their job as a result of the corona crisis can apply at the SZW-unit for a compensation of maximum 80 per cent of the maximized daily wage at the time of dismissal or the ending of the temporary contract. Applicants can turn to the SZW-unit.
Persons who are self-employed or have a company without additional personnel and who have suffered an income loss to the level below 80 percent of the legal minimum wage can apply for a maximum compensation of 80 percent of the minimum wage. They can apply at the SZW-unit.
Fixed expenses compensation
Affected entrepreneurs that are faced with high fixed expenses can be eligible for a compensation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). The compensation is a one-time payment of US $4,400. Entrepreneurs are eligible when suffering a turnover loss of at least US $4,400 from March 13th through June 12th, 2020 and facing at least the same amount in fixed expenses in that period. Fixed expenses are, for example, commercial premises costs, business insurance and financing. Not included are: taxes, employer contributions and labor costs. The SZW-unit of RCN is in charge of carrying out this measure.
Tax office and Customs
Aware of the enormous impact of the coronavirus and the local lock-downs, the Caribbean Netherlands Tax office (BCN) has taken measures to mitigate the consequences for entrepreneurs and private individuals by applying special deferral of payment and possibilities for leniency.
Entrepreneurs can make use of credit expansion possibilities under the BKMB and GO regulations to reduce financing problems. The Chamber of Commerce of St. Eustatius and Saba has more information available. Financing through Qredits will be expanded as well.
Ferry, telecom, electricity
The fixed tariff for electricity on Saba will be reduced to zero per May 1 until the end of 2020. The cost of internet will go down by US $25 per connection per May 1 until to the end of 2020. There is green light to start a pilot of 2 years for reduced ferry prices between Saba, Statia and Sint Maarten. How and when will be worked out in the coming months.
The Dutch Government has allocated extra money to locally assemble and distribute food packages for vulnerable persons in the community.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW) is making extra money available to assist the vulnerable persons. The amount will be divided over the three public entities and will be added to the free allowance. With this additional funding, the public entities can provide assistance to households and persons in need.