Nearly a quarter of entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry say their debt is currently a problem. So more than a third of all entrepreneurs in this sector have demanded a deferment of payment, especially from the tax authorities. Nearly 20 percent of restaurant entrepreneurs indicate that additional financing, for example in the form of government support, is necessary to survive.
This is evidenced by the so-called business survey, which is regularly conducted by VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland, CBS, Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Institute for the construction industry among companies. The latest edition appeared on Tuesday.
The Dutch economy is recovering strongly, according to VNO-NCW. But behind the resounding total numbers hide another fact. The Employers Association said in a press release that many entrepreneurs, who have been hit hard by the government’s measures against the coronavirus, are experiencing debt problems.
The hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit industries. But many entrepreneurs in the culture, sports and entertainment sectors also have higher debts than they did before the Corona crisis. Among them, 7.5 percent say their debt burden is a problem for the survival of their business. More than a quarter of companies in the cultural, sports and recreational sector have requested tax deferrals.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Tuesday that the catering industry contributed significantly less to the Dutch economy last year. The value added of the sector was more than 40 percent lower than in 2019. This was the largest drop among all industries.
During the pandemic, cafes remained closed and restaurants were only allowed to serve meals for parts of the year. This has also affected the suppliers of hotels, restaurants and cafes, especially the beverage sector. Last year, it gave 215 million euros to the catering sector, half a year ago.
Moreover, it has lost a large part of foreign tourism. This has severely affected the hotel sector in the Netherlands. In the second quarter of this year, the number of hotel guests was 52 percent lower than in 2019.
The number of jobs in the hospitality industry is also lower than last year. Last May, CBS counted 365,000 jobs in this sector. This is 3000 less than the previous year and about 100,000 less than it was before the Corona crisis.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of August 25, 2021
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