The terrorist threat targeting Brussels increased to level 4 in November 2015 for several days in Brussels leading to a “lockdown” of the capital. This caused a loss of income now evaluated at 100 million euros by Comeos, the federation for the distribution sector and services (which promotes commercial activity amongst its members).
“This has cost us very, very very, very dearly” summed up Dominique Michel, the CEO of Comeos, during a press conference.
The “losers” were, in particular the hospitality sector, with 50% to 70% of cancellations, shops, with an all-time low footfall and businesses being affected by consumers’ reduced mobility.
Comeos flags up the “winners” of this unprecedented situation as the private childcare sector, taxis and e-commerce. Indeed the number of online transactions increased by 25% last November, compared to November 2014. Comeos highlights one particular consequences of the closure of many Brussels businesses during the height of the terrorist threat.
The Fédération des Entreprises de Belgique (FEB – Federation of Belgian Businesses) had, for its part, evaluated the impact of the “lockdown” on the Belgian economy at 350 million euros. More than half of this figure related to the Brussels economy alone.