Due to the coronavirus crisis, the government decided to extend the emergency package for residents and businesses on Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius, and Saba for four months until the 12th of October. Residents and businesses on Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba are part of the Netherlands and, therefore can use comparable measures to those taken in the European Netherlands.
The coronavirus crisis is having a huge impact on society in the Caribbean Netherlands. Although the islands have largely escaped the coronavirus in terms of health up to now, in an economic sense Bonaire, Sint. Eustatius and Saba have been seriously affected. The tourist sector, which drives a large part of the economy, has ground to a halt.
The central government has added a number of new measures, in addition to the existing ones. For example, the temporary income support scheme has been introduced, the temporary reimbursement of fixed costs has been extended (up to a maximum of 50,000 euros for businesses) and the bridging loan for small businesses has been added for small businesses. The central government is also making 1.3 million euros available so that the public entities can additionally meet the needs of citizens and businesses from an island policy perspective.
This second emergency package was today sent to the Dutch House of Representatives on behalf of the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Minister and State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Minister and State Secretary of Finance, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management and the State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment. State Secretary Raymond Knops announced, on behalf of the government: “With this extension, we are protecting jobs and incomes in the coming period by supporting affected companies and sole traders. There are troubling tough times ahead and huge demands are going to be made on society. At the same time, the government is convinced that once again during this crisis the resilience of the islands will ensure that we, the government, and society together, will pull through.”