BELGA

Flemish Government announces measures to help companies and vulnerable families through the crisis

The Flemish Government has announced a raft of measures to help companies and vulnerable families through the economic ill-effects of the corona crisis. Companies whose turnover is more than 60% on what it was a year ago will be given 2000 euro/month in Flemish Government aid. The so-called “hindrance grant” of 160 euro/day will be extended for business that are still obliged to remain closed. Three measures have been announced to help vulnerable families, including a temporary payment of 40 euro/child on top of child benefit for the poorest families. 

Monday’s press conference was the last in a series of press conferences at which the Flemish Government has announced measures designed to help get our region back on its feet after almost 3 months of lockdown.

The new “compensation grant” of 2,000 euro/month will be given to companies and shops that have reopened but whose turnover a month after reopening was down more than 60% own on what it was a year ago.  

For example, this would be period between 11 May and 11 June for a shop and 8 June to 8 July for a bar or restaurant. The Flemish Economic Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) stressed that this would be the “last acute intervention” on the part of the Flemish Government. 

Meanwhile, the “hindrance grant” of 160 euro/day has been extended in order to further assist businesses that are not yet able to reopen. 

Voucher and extra payment

In addition to help for businesses, the Flemish Government also announced a 15 million euro package of measures to help our region’s most vulnerable families.

·        A temporary extra payment of 40 euro/child will be made on top of child benefit to families whose monthly income is under 2,213 euro. The payment will be made during the coming three months.

·        Local authorities can introduce a voucher system to help vulnerable families and those on low income. The Flemish Government says that the vouchers must be spent in the local economy, for example at local shops.  

·        Local authorities will be given a total of 15 million euro that they can spend as they wish to help the most vulnerable. Of this 13.5 million euro will be shared between the 300 municipalities in the 5 Flemish provinces and 1.5 million euro will go to Brussels.