Financing your business at a period of crisis

Financing your business at this period of crisis

Given the current situation, finding funding for your project may seem to be an impossible task. However, several solutions have been developed to help relaunch our economy and support the launch and development of businesses.

EMERGENCY LOANS IN THE BRUSSELS REGION

Backed by the Government of Brussels, finance&invest.brussels has established two low interest funding solutions for businesses affected by the public health crisis:

USE THE SAVINGS OF PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS WITH THE PROXI LOAN

Why not borrow from friends or family to establish or grow your business? It’s easy thanks to the proxi loan, a scheme introduced by the Government of Brussels on 15 October 2020.

The principle is simple: an individual lends money to your business and in return benefits from a tax break in the form of an annual tax credit. Under certain circumstances, the individual lender may also receive a one-off tax credit, for example if the business they have funded goes bankrupt.

In practical terms, the lender and borrower must sign a loan agreement using the online form available on the website of finance&invest.brussels, which oversees the registration of these loans in the Brussels region.

The term of the proxi loan can be 5 or 8 years and the interest rate is between 0.875% and 1.75% (legal rate applicable for the 2020 tax year). The loan can be repaid as a single lump sum upon maturity, or in monthly, quarterly, biannual or annual instalments.

Are you interested in this scheme? More information on the terms and practicalities is available on the finance&invest.brussels website.

MICROCREDIT

The three microfinance institutions operating in Brussels have also adapted their services in response to the needs of entrepreneurs during these unusual times.

They are all aimed at businesses with difficulty accessing a bank loan and/or very little equity and, in addition to loans, offer advice services to support entrepreneurs and maximise their chance of success.

The cooperative CREDAL offers Flash loans to entrepreneurs launching or growing their business in Brussels. What makes this loan unique is that the interest rate is lower for entrepreneurs who make use of the mentoring offered.

Characteristics of the Flash loan from CREDAL:

  • Amount: maximum €25,000
  • Term: 60 months maximum
  • If borrowers take advantage of the support offered, the interest rate drops to 4% (instead of 6%)

microStart has introduced the “Croissance” loan, a form of finance designed for self-employed individuals who have been trading for at least a year (whether or not they are existing microStart customers) affected by the COVID-19 crisis and looking to relaunch their business.

Characteristics of the “Croissance” loan from microStart

  • Amount: maximum €20,000
  • Term: 60 months maximum
  • Rate of 8.95% up to €15,000 and 7.95% from €15,001 to €20,000.
  • Under certain circumstances, this microloan can be supplemented by an “honour loan” with 0% interest up to a maximum of €5,000.

On the Dutch-speaking side, Hefboom offers the Impulskrediet, a microloan of up to €25,000 to support entrepreneurs through the crisis.

As you can see, solutions do exist. Do not hesitate to approach the regional support services, who can offer guidance on the best option for your circumstances!

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