Hundreds of millions in financial support readied for hotels, restaurants, culture: Report
The Dutch government is preparing a new round of financial compensation specifically for businesses which have seen a loss of over 70 percent in revenue. Hundreds of millions of euros will be made available for businesses, including those operating hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants, to cover 85 percent of their fixed costs dating back to October 1, anonymous government sources told broadcaster NOS.
The cultural sector and events businesses will also qualify. It was not clear what other entrepreneurs would have access to the fund when it materializes.
News of the fund emerged a day after dozens of regional hospitality associations said that they would open their doors on January 17 if the government does not lift the partial lockdown. Hospitality businesses have been mostly forbidden from serving clients in-house since the third week of October, and have had to make ends meet by selling items for takeaway or delivery.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he envisioned the partial lockdown extending beyond mid-January after the reduction of new daily coronavirus infections slowed to a crawl. "It is simply not possible to close the doors until the end of January or even longer," said Johan de Vos of the Breda branch of hospitality association KHN.
He said on Wednesday that many hospitality businesses were barely staying afloat after a difficult year comprising of two months-long shutdowns of his sector. "There is now nothing more than the choice of opening or going bankrupt."
The restaurant industry found wide-ranging public support, and an ally in Cabinet coalition party D66, which said they could see some catering businesses reopen if they adhere to strict rules for doing so. Economic Affairs Minister Eric Wiebes said he was not in favor of that move.
A reduction in monetary support for other businesses was also unlikely to be cut in January as was previously planned, NOS reported.