ROTTERDAM, 22 March 2023 – City Council is making a concerted effort to support entrepreneurs.
As of today, Rotterdam has an SME action programme. This morning it was presented by economics alderman Robert Simons. The aim of the programme: to help 10,000 entrepreneurial challenges with good municipal services and practical tools to make Rotterdam entrepreneurs future-proof.
During the past period, entrepreneurs were asked what they need. The action programme focuses on this: making plans and policies based on the entrepreneur, clear online and offline information and communication and tackling the office jungle. Obviously, entrepreneurs do not want to be sent from pillar to post. The plan also focuses on helping entrepreneurs to be future-proof because energy transition and raw material scarcity are major challenges for them.
Alderman Robert Simons (Economy, among other things): “Rotterdam's SMEs deserve an action programme that is fully tailored to their needs. After all, SMEs are the backbone of Rotterdam's economy. With 230,000 jobs, the 20,000 SMEs provide 60% of employment in Rotterdam. I am happy that this plan is in place, and I hope we can help many entrepreneurs further with what they are so good at: doing business.”
To improve services, there will be a team for complex questions, among other things. In this way, the municipality will ensure that entrepreneurial questions are dealt with quickly and integrally. There will be an SME test for new policies and complex permits, and products will be made SME-proof. Ondernemen010.nl will become even more of a central location for information from the municipality and partners, and a live chat will be available for employees to ask questions during office hours. With the 1-entry principle and better cooperation behind the scenes, entrepreneurs will be able to avoid being redirected through the municipal organisation with their questions.
To make entrepreneurs more future-proof, the municipality deploys subsidy coaches, who can help them find their way to subsidies and financing. Rotterdam is also working hard to ensure that Rotterdam SMEs take part in international trade missions. The success of the 'klusbus' (handyman bus) providing energy-saving measures will be continued: other shopping areas will soon be served as well. In addition, entrepreneurs can apply for sustainability vouchers for an energy or roof scan worth €800.