Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Six out of ten Belgian business owners are worried about their cash flow and about half are barely surviving the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest study by debt collection specialist Intrum published on Wednesday.
Their European Payment Report 202 survey of 11,187 companies between January and April 2021 – including 503 businesses in Belgium – found that the hardest-hit sectors in the country are banking and insurance, retail, hospitality, manufacturing and chemicals.
Half of the Belgian companies (49%) surveyed think the impact of the coronavirus crisis will be felt for at least another year.
One in eight Belgian companies (13%) said they fear a recovery period of two years or more.
Still, nearly one in two Belgian companies (46%) is more enthusiastic about its growth and future now than it has been for many years, the report said.
“The pandemic has prompted companies to engage in self-reflection and try out new ways of working,” said Christophe De Boeck, spokesperson for Intrum.
“This could just as easily be the introduction of teleworking, digital transformation or a greater focus on cash flow protection.”
Small and medium sized enterprises say that over the past year, they’ve accelerated the digitalisation of their business (38% of those surveyed), requested payment deferrals on business loans (29%) and asked for longer payment terms from suppliers (28%).
Larger companies were more likely to cancel strategic investments (25% of those surveyed), lay off staff (18%) significantly more often, and sell assets to free up cash (11%).
The Brussels Times