Amsterdam businesses warn about Covid-19 impact; many bankruptcies loom

Scanned check-in, fence and 1.5m spacing at Brasserie Nel, Amsterdam. Credit:
Scanned check-in, fence and 1.5m spacing at Brasserie Nel, Amsterdam. Credit:

Employers organisations in Amsterdam have warned up to 80% of businesses in some sectors could go bust because of the coronavirus crisis, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.

Hospitality industry and small firm representatives met city officials for talks on Tuesday evening to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the city’s economy, particularly the collapse of the tourist industry.

Bart van der Heijden, head of the RAI congress centre, told the meeting his organisation is losing €150,000 a day following the cancellation of hundreds of events. Hotel owners said they are currently grappling with a 1% to 2% occupancy rate.

‘We are making a loss of €1m a month,’ Remco Groenhuijzen, of the Movenpick hotel group, said.

Museum bosses too said they are only attracting up to 20% of the normal flow of visitors. ‘The situation is very serious. I expect a dramatic period ahead with many bankruptcies,’ Bart Drenth, head of the local small business association MKB Amsterdam, told officials.

Last week the economic affairs alderman Victor Everhardt told the council that coronavirus is likely to cut the city’s income by €350m, with the loss of tourist tax of €98m accounting for the biggest share.

As yet is it unclear how much of the shortfall will be taken up by central government, Everhardt said.

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