Even though there was a lockdown for much of 2021, just 1,536 companies were declared bankrupt last year, the lowest figure since 1990, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.
Most bankrupt firms were in the trading, construction and financial services sectors, the CBS said. Just 99 hospitality industry companies went bust, even though they were closed for much of the year.
In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, 2,703 firms were declared bankrupt.
The government has pumped billions of euros into helping firms affected by the lockdowns to stay afloat. In addition, companies have deferred tax payments totalling €18bn.
The continuing financial aid led the government’s macro-economic advisory unit CPB to warn last year that government support was keeping companies afloat which would have gone bust anyway.
According to figures from the state jobs agency UWV, which was in charge of giving companies financial support, half the requests made in November and December came from cafes, bars and other hospitality industry companies.
In total, 28,000 requests for help with paying wages were made during the final two months of last year, and over 22,500 were honoured. The hospitality industry accounted for nearly 10,700 successful claims, the retail sector nearly 3,500.
The UWV also noted that 7% of requests for support in the final two months of last year came from companies founded since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and that 60% of them operated in the hospitality sector.
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