The news from the leaked sources says that the lockdown for gyms and store owners will probably end. It is a big relief for the entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands entered into a lockdown almost a month ago. It seems to have taken away the last vestiges of mental and financial resilience and positivity among the entrepreneurs. 21 mayors in the region called upon the government in an open letter yesterday to lift the lockdown quickly.
“The situation now is really different from last year,” Oirschot mayor Judith Keijzers explained Thursday on behalf of her colleagues in the region. “You can see that the current wave is not flooding the hospitals. That combined with the high need among entrepreneurs, led us to draft this letter.”
Empty shopping streets
The plight of the entrepreneurs distresses Keijzers. “People are at a loss for words. Ongoing fixed costs are only compensated to a limited extent. The shopkeepers are stuck with unsold stock. They lack the income to invest and feel more like lawyers nowadays, because they spend their days writing notices of objection and applying for subsidies just to put the money together. As a municipality, we also have to be careful that we don’t end up with empty shopping streets because so many have stopped. That threat is too real.”
On Thursday afternoon, Geldrop hairdresser Iene Teunissen had difficulty believing that the lockdown might be over. “I’m totally euphoric. If this is true, we can work again. Then we’ll make it if necessary retire a few years later. Survival is already profit at this point of time.”
As relieved as the shopkeepers are, the entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry are furious. For them, the lockdown remains in effect for the time being. The difference this time is that the mayors are openly supporting them. It is not yet clear what this support means for the enforcement of businesses that decide to open after all.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.