Record number of NL businesses closed last year
Over 140 thousand businesses in the Netherlands decided to close down last year, a 20 percent increase compared to 2019 and the largest number since Statistics Netherlands started keeping track of it in 2007. Self-employed people with no other employees in particular threw in the towel last year. As did a large number of restaurants and ice cream parlors, Statistics Netherlands said.
89 percent of the businesses that decided to close last year were self-employed people with no other employees. Many one-man businesses shut down in the trade, IT, and services sectors.
The other 11 percent were companies with two or more employees. In this category, it was mainly hospitality businesses that shut down - unsurprisingly as many businesses in this industry were forced to close for large parts of 2020 due to the coronavirus lockdowns. 470 restaurants decided to close permanently. As did many lunchrooms, snack bars and ice cream parlors.
These figures only include business that were shut down at the owners' initiative. They don't include businesses that were taken over by other companies or went bankrupt, though there may be some in there that pulled the plug to avoid bankruptcy. The number of bankruptcies last year was remarkably low, thanks in a large part to the governments coronavirus support packages keeping struggling companies afloat.
Despite this record number of entrepreneurs closing down their businesses, the total number of businesses in the Netherlands still grew in 2020. That was because of an unprecedentedly large number of new businesses starting up, the stats office said.