Almost half of Swiss companies in the restaurant and hotel sector are at risk of going bankrupt by the end of March without state aid to face the consequences of the restrictions imposed by the fight against COVID-19, a warned Sunday the representative federation of the sector.
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The Swiss government is likely to extend this week the closure of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues across the country until the end of February, with hopes of rolling back the still high number of COVID-19 cases and of deceased. These restrictions were originally scheduled to be lifted on January 22.
But “by the end of March, half of all establishments in the hotel and catering industry will go bankrupt if they do not receive financial compensation now,” warns GastroSuisse, the federation of hotels and restaurants, in a press release. Restoration.
The organization, which surveyed around 4,000 restaurant and hotel owners, says 98% of them are already in dire need of financial support. “The existence of many of them is even threatened if they do not receive money now,” warns the president of GastroSuisse, Casimir Platzer, quoted in the press release.
“Before the crisis, more than 80% of establishments had good, even very good liquidity. In the space of a month, 80% of establishments found themselves in a very bad situation ”, deplores GastroSuisse.
In October, while a second wave of contamination was gaining momentum, the organization had “alerted to the 100,000 jobs at risk,” she recalls. In the last two months of 2020, nearly 60% of establishments in the sector were forced to downsize, after a first round of layoffs in the spring, she says.
Without government intervention, a third wave of layoffs is looming, warns Platzer.
“GastroSuisse therefore demands that the Federal Council be courageous and financially compensate the hotel and restaurant industry immediately and without complications”, writes the federation.
The USAM (Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts), a union representing small and medium-sized enterprises in Switzerland, for its part called on the government on Sunday not to extend or tighten the measures, warning that it was a “Existential question” for many of its members.
Switzerland, with a population of 8.6 million, currently records around 4,000 cases of COVID-19 per day. As of Friday, she identified nearly 476,000 cases and 7,545 deaths since the start of the pandemic.