In 2020, 2,703 companies in the Netherlands were declared bankrupt, more than 500 fewer than a year earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported Tuesday. According to the statistics office, not so few companies have had to close their doors in the past twenty years.
Statisticians point to government emergency aid as the reason for the low number of bankruptcies. As a result, businesses may stay up a little longer. The situation is precarious for many companies, but since there is little or no income and government assistance can be obtained, the bar for filing for bankruptcy can be a bit higher.
Fewer companies went bankrupt in almost all branches of industry, but there are exceptions such as the hotel, cultural, sports and leisure industries and education. The decline in the number of bankrupt companies has been greatest in retail, but it remains the sector where in absolute terms most companies did not survive 2020. There were 581, about 21 percent of all bankruptcies.
Many retail properties are being remodeled
The vacancy rate in retail also barely rose in the past year, while 2019 saw the strongest increase in years. This shows, among other things, that Corona measures to guide entrepreneurs through the crisis seem to be working.
The research agency Locatus warns of the calm before the storm, as many companies stay afloat due to the measures and can also postpone bills.
In addition, many entrepreneurs had a good third quarter, also because many Dutch people celebrated their holidays in their own country. As a result, many euros that were normally spent abroad remained in the Netherlands. However, the situation has worsened significantly since October, the researchers said.
Another reason why store vacancies were prevented was the further conversion of retail space into, for example, apartments or other functions. The total retail inventory decreased by nearly fourteen hundred properties in the past year.