Applications for the Corona Bridging Loan (COL) are still flooding in. Since 29 April, 1,507 startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs have lodged applications for COLs. The total requested comes to €540 million. By now 311 applications – for some €100 million in total – have been approved, with around 50% of the applications still being processed.
On Wednesday 20 May, the Dutch government announced that, on top of an earlier tranche of €100 million, another €150 million will be made available for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. As the large number of applications confirms, this is sorely needed. Businesses can apply for a COL of €50,000 or more, at favourable conditions. The loans are provided by the Regional Development Agencies (RDA’s).
AppThis Group from Enschede was the first business in the east of the Netherlands to receive a COL. “We’re using the loan to make up for the reduction in turnover and to make the latest product adjustments related to the 1.5 metre conditions our clients have had to implement,” says Arjan Zwarteveen, who runs the company with Andreas Weber.
Qlayers in Delft also received a COL. Founder and CEO Josefien Groot: “The COL is a perfect fit with the type of business we are: an innovative startup with high costs relative to revenue. The COL will allow us to complete our product development and bring it to the market on schedule.”
More information on the COL applications to date
Almost three-quarters of the applications are for smaller requests of €250,000 or less. However, 23% of the applications are from scale-ups and these account for around half of the €540 million total requested. All applicants together represent more than 15,000 jobs.
Over a third of the innovative companies that have submitted an application operate in the soft tech field (platform, SaaS, AI), but there have also been many applications from businesses in medtech, life sciences, cleantech and high tech.
The Corona Bridging Loan (COL) is an emergency loan for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs who do not have a credit facility with a bank and are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. The scheme was established in close co-operation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the various Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and TechLeap.nl, with close involvement from Invest-NL. At the Ministry’s request, the RDAs provide bridging loans of between €50,000 and €2 million.