Nearly a quarter of entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry say their debts are currently problematic. More than a third of all entrepreneurs in that sector have therefore requested a postponement of payment, especially from the tax authorities. And almost 20 percent of catering entrepreneurs indicate that additional financing, for example in the form of government support, is necessary to survive.
This is apparent from the so-called Business Survey, which VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland, CBS, the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Institute for the Construction Industry regularly have conducted among companies. The latest edition appeared on Tuesday.
The Dutch economy is recovering vigorously, according to VNO-NCW. “But behind the resounding macro figures hides a different reality. Many entrepreneurs who have been hardest hit by the government’s corona measures are struggling with problematic debts,” the employers’ association said in a press release.
The hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit industries. But many entrepreneurs in the culture, sport and recreation sectors also have higher debts than before the corona crisis. Of them, 7.5 percent say their debt burden is problematic for the survival of their business. More than a quarter of companies in the cultural, sporting and recreational sector have requested tax deferrals.
The catering industry contributed significantly less to the Dutch economy last year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Tuesday. The sector’s value added was more than 40 percent lower than in 2019. That was the largest drop among all industries.
During the pandemic, cafes remained closed and restaurants were only allowed to deliver meals for parts of the year. This also affected suppliers to hotels, restaurants and cafes, especially the beverage sector. Last year, it delivered 215 million euros to the catering industry, half of a year earlier.
In addition, a large part of foreign tourism was lost. That hit the hotel sector in the Netherlands hard. In the second quarter of this year, hotels had 52 percent fewer guests 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 the sector. That is 3,000 fewer than a year earlier and about 100,000 fewer than before the corona crisis.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of August 25, 2021