Fewer companies launched in 2020 compared to a year ago

The Zuidas, Amsterdam’s large commercial business district, was virtually abandoned. 19 March 2020
The Zuidas, Amsterdam’s large commercial business district, was virtually abandoned. 19 March 2020Jacqueline TellingaSupplied to NL Times

In the period between January and May, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) registered a nine percent decrease in the number of newly-founded businesses compared to the same period last year. In addition, a further 19 percent increase in the number of companies ceasing production was recorded, compounding an already gloomy outlook for the Dutch economy.

The KvK pointed out that this figure includes companies that have been inactive for a longer period. April also saw an increase in the number of bankruptcies compared to the same month in 2019, especially in the northwestern provinces of the country.

With the exception of startups in the retail industry created as more people launched webshops during the period when people were supposed to spend more time at home, the number of new companies across the board fell between January and April. Personal services such as hairdressers recorded a decline of as much as a 70 percent. In May, the slump appeared to stabilize somewhat, according to the research,

The province of Gelderland appeared to be the hardest-hit according to the KvK's data, with the number of companies stopping production in May increasing by 54 percent compared to the same month in 2019.

While normally a quarterly update, the KvK plans to release data on these issues monthly in the wake of the global health crisis.

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