More hospitality and cultural businesses launched as Covid takes backseat
The number of startups is increasing again in the catering, culture, sports, and recreation sectors. These sectors were severely affected by the coronavirus. According to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK), there was a quarter more starting entrepreneurs in these sectors last month than in the same month last year.
In the catering industry, the KvK registers counted 935 starters in April. There were many new event caterers in particular. This group includes independent chefs and baristas, for example. The culture, sports, and recreation sector got more than 1,000 startups, mainly in art.
"Entrepreneurs see their chance for benefiting from these sectors' opening to the public," said Josette Dijkhuizen in an explanation. She is a professor of sustainable employability of entrepreneurs at Tilburg University. "In addition, there is confidence that the pandemic is now really over. That is probably what we see in these figures."
The total number of startups in April, like in March, was lower than in the same month last year. Almost 20,000 new companies started in April, a decrease of 3 percent. Over 12,000 companies closed, more than a quarter higher than in April last year. The total number of companies grew to slightly more than 2.2 million.
"After the pandemic, it is inevitable that the number of quitters would increase," Dijkhuizen said. During the coronavirus period, government support kept many companies afloat. But according to the KvK, there were fewer bankruptcies. At 94 bankruptcies, the monthly figure was the lowest it's been since January 2020.
"The fact that the number of bankruptcies has fallen again, contrary to expectations, may well have to do with entrepreneurs' insight," said Dijkhuizen. "They may want to avoid bankruptcy by quitting on their own and not letting it come to bankruptcy." The KvK is also receiving more calls from entrepreneurs with questions about the consequences of possible bankruptcy, a spokesperson said. "The real question for them is whether they let it get that far or end their business in advance."
Reporting by ANP.