Phase 1 terrifies merchants: how many stores would close

SME entrepreneurs warn that tightening the quarantine will end 40% of businesses. They propose to pay part of the Christmas bonus in installments until December

The flare-up of infections with Covid-19, added to an economic paralysis that hits the boxes of the local, keeps businesses that are still standing in the Federal Capital in a critical situation.

Now, and before the versions that the Government would return to phase 1 to the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), the businessmen of the segment warn that what comes is the total “crash” of the network of operational ventures in this part of the country. If returned to a complete closure instance, the sources consulted warn iProfessional, the city will lose 20,000 shops.

This last number will join the 20,000 stores that have already lowered their blinds definitively from March to this part, in what represents a level of disappearance of commercial points clearly unpublished.

“If we go back to Phase 1 there is nothing left. A good part of the merchants insisted on reopening when the Government issued some kind of permit. We have partners that have they sold their cars to buy merchandise. Many went to sign checks, took out credits, got into debt in many ways. To close again is to sentence thousands of businesses to death, “he told iProfessional Fabián Castillo, president of FECOBA, the federation that integrates SMEs from commerce and industry.

“We are going to double the number of closings with such a measure. Some 20,000 stores have already closed and with inactivity, if it ends up being established, we will reach 40,000. We are talking about that the quarantine will have eaten 40 percent of the shops in Buenos Aires. We understand the concern of the authorities, but our sector has been one of the first to define protocols and until now we have not had a single contagion, “he added.

Castillo acknowledged that the reopening of the premises has not given the economic result that the merchants expected, but he remarked that re-closing is the worst alternative for the segment. “The sale, according to the items, is in the order of 25 percent from pre-pandemic levels. But even that percentage is much more than having a zero income as it was happening, “he said.

From the area of ​​the Santa Fe Avenue merchants, a voice called by iProfessional it was pronounced similarly.

“Closing again would be lapidary for the few who resist. Not even the essential stores were doing well, not to mention for the few gastronomic ones that survive on the basis of delivery. Here we already have at least 300 stores that closed completely and more than 1,000 waiting to reopen at some point. If we return to phase 1 the latter will have no choice but to return the keys, “he said.

Almost 20% of Buenos Aires locals closed their doors definitively so far in a pandemic.

The commercial result of the recent “Father’s Day” shows clearly that, simultaneously with the Covid-19 scenario, the lack of purchasing power It is also another “disease” that threatens the survival of these SMEs.

According to FECOBA, last weekend billing was 60 percent below compared to “Father’s Day” 2019.

“We did not have help to improve sales, that is something that must be said. With a view to ‘Father’s Day’ we ask that it allow us to open an hour earlier and, also, to be able to sell during the day on Saturday. The Government did not grant us any of these options. However, supermarkets were allowed to market any type of products. And they sold like never before, “he shot.

Sales by

Sales for “Father’s Day” fell 60% from the same event but from 2019.

ATP for Christmas bonuses and fees until December

From FECOBA they informed iProfessional that the organization made a request to the Government that this cover, through another ATP, at least 50 percent of the amounts for Christmas bonuses.

From the federation they explained that, at the same time, the businessmen of the branch requested in the same management the possibility of paying the remaining 50 percent in installments to be settled from July to December.

“There is no way to take care of those payments at current billing levels. Much less if the insulation tightens again. Businesses fight today to survive. But without help or some flexibility to continue operating, well, chances are that soon we will have to talk about new massive closings soon, “he concluded.

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