Measured effectiveness of Corona support
Publication date: 13 December 2021 | Report language: NL
Quickly after the first Covid-19 cases emerged in Belgium, the federal and Flemish government introduced safety and support measures to better manage the impact in different areas. Now, one and a half year later, Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), the agency responsible for providing the support to companies, requested an evaluation of the effected of the implemented support measures. The key question for VLAIO was: “What would have happened in case the Flemish government didn’t support companies during the crisis?”
Technopolis Group performed the evaluation of the support for companies in Flanders during 2020 in collaboration with academic experts from the universities of KU Leuven and the Université libre de Bruxelles. Using both qualitative and quantitative (econometric) methods, the effectiveness of the support measures was analysed at the macro, meso and micro level in terms of the overall Flemish economy, the sectors and types of companies as well as individual companies through impact cases.
The main findings include:
- The measures reached companies and sectors that hit the hardest by the crisis;
- Without support the Flemish economy would have been hit a lot harder by the crisis: the gross regional product would have fallen by 12,4% without support, compared to the observed 6,1% decline;
- Supported companies showed a catching-up effect when statistically compared to non-supported companies, their growth in the quarter after receiving support would have been 12% lower without the support;
- Large differences between sectors were observed as well, for sectors that were hit the hardest by the crisis the support only partially managed to protect the liquidity of these companies;
- Earlier measures, that used lump sums and were put in place very quickly, provided more favourable support for smaller companies than for larger companies, in some cases the amount was higher than the turnover in the reference period of 2019;
- Later measures, that used a percentage of turnover in 2019, were experienced as more apt by medium sized and large companies.
The study included a comparative analysis with support measures in other regions (Germany, Netherlands & Wallonia), which showed many similarities with the Flemish situation. Evaluative analysis in these and other countries could provide interesting additional insights in understanding the effects of support policies for companies during the COVID-19 crisis. With this knowledge in the future increasingly efficient and effective support measures can be designed.