Saturday, Feb 27, 2021

Los bares y restaurantes fueron los primeros comercios clausurados en Panamá por el coronavirus

40% of restaurants, bars and clubs will not be able to reopen

Due to the economic and health crisis caused by COVID-19, at least 40% of the businesses of the Association of Restaurants, Bars and Clubs (ARBYD), confirm that they are not capable to reopen.
We have been closed more than 120 days, we are in survival mode, trying to understand that plan of economic reactivation that the government is proposing to us. We make an urgent call... Our companies and other sectors cannot take it anymore, we need real and effective help because with each passing day the situation becomes much more complicated, said Luis González, spokesman for ARBYD.

He indicated that the association groups more than 860 businesses, and as of today 40% are not able to reopen their businesses.

González highlighted that they have participated in all the dialogue tables and yet have not seen real help or know the methodology to benefit from the rescue funds.

He explained that in terms of rentals, only 21% of entrepreneurs have reached an agreement with lessors.

Reactivation is not only injecting money, tenants must also be part of this, he added.

He explained that today a business closed after 4 months paying $4,000 in rent, already owes $16,000 and when it reopens there will be $35,000 of debt only for lease.

He said that soft loans are not so soft at all, given that the rates are 4.5, 5%, or even 9%, in very short terms.

The rescue plan must be real and effective. This is to save companies, not for banks to earn money. We see with concern the lack of urgency, why there is no call for a national dialogue, everyone must play their part, he concluded.

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