In total, more than a quarter of the 580,000 SMEs in the affected industries have claimed the scheme. This is 9% of all SMEs. The companies representing 9% of SMEs account for 18% of all employee jobs and 7% of the total turnover of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Within the catering industry, restaurants and cafés were the sub-branches with the highest percentages of companies that made use of this scheme. As of May 15, 86% of the restaurants had taken advantage of the scheme, 81% of the cafés. Other industries where more than three-quarters of the companies received benefits were, for example, shops selling women’s, men’s or underwear, fairground attractions and taxi transport.
The fact that the money has been transferred to the companies does not automatically mean that they may keep it. The assessment takes place afterwards. “We are already working on the first recoveries,” says a spokesman for the RVO. “It’s about small numbers.” To be eligible for the TOGS scheme, an entrepreneur must expect a loss of turnover of at least € 4,000 from mid-March to mid-June. This can be difficult to estimate for small entrepreneurs. Therefore, recovery does not always have to involve fraud.
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