55% of horeca businesses paid less rent or benefited from deferrals
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55% of horeca businesses paid less rent or benefited from deferrals

Credit: Belga

Around 55% of hospitality industry companies renting commercial property have not paid their rent in full or have benefited from deferrals, according to a new survey by the Economic Risk Management Group (ERMG).

The proportion of companies in this situation reaches about 35% for non-medical contact professions, non-food retail, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector and travel agencies, according to this survey carried out last week by several employers’ organisations.

This survey, part of a series since March 2020 to assess the impact of Covid-19 on economic activity and the financial health of companies, also shows that Belgian companies reported a drop of around 10% in their turnover in February, a level comparable to that of January.

As in previous surveys, however, the self-employed and smaller companies report a much greater impact of the coronavirus crisis on turnover than larger companies. The self-employed report an average loss of almost 42% compared to normal, while the loss averages 7% for the largest companies.

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At sector level, the situation related to turnover is comparable to that observed in the January survey and is strongly contrasted. For almost all business sectors, the decline in turnover compared with normal is either unchanged or slightly down.

On the other hand, for the sectors hardest hit, the situation remains particularly worrying, according to the ERMG. The arts, entertainment and recreation services sector recorded a loss in sales of over 75% for the 12th consecutive month.

The hotel and catering sector and the transport and logistics sector continue to show losses in turnover of 70% and 28% respectively. Finally, the non-medical contact professions and travel agencies have lost 80% and 92% of their turnover respectively.

Finally, the survey confirms that the self-employed and smaller companies, as well as the most severely affected sectors, report serious difficulties in obtaining bank credit.

The Brussels Times