More small firms are either closing down or going bust as the impact of soaring inflation starts to kick in, news website Nu.nl said on Monday, quoting chamber of commerce figures.
Nu.nl said 176 small firms went bust last month, which is 50 more than in the same period in 2021. And although the total is still very low, it is an indicator of the financial problems affecting industry, Tilburg University professor Joris Knoben said.
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns forced many firms to use up their reserves, and now they are struggling to deal with higher prices for fuel and energy. In addition, many firms cannot pass on the price increases to their clients, Nu.nl said.
More firms are also closing down voluntarily – 16,346 in the first nine months of this year, compared with 15,285 in 2021. Fewer new firms are also being established.
‘There is a clear decline in the number of starters and rise in the number of people calling a halt,’ Knoben said. ‘As with bankruptcies, this is a sign of increasing problems.’
The Financieele Dagblad reported earlier this week that bankruptcies are expected to rise by 77% in the year ahead, thanks to the end of very low interest rate loans and government coronavirus support packages.
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