Eighty percent of Dutch small businesses expect to be on black seed within six months and therefore no longer be able to pay their bills (on time). One fifth even has an acute liquidity shortage. This is evident from research by the online financing platform BridgeFund.
The lender gauged the mood among 659 Dutch organizations with a maximum of fifty employees. One of the results is that the majority of smaller entrepreneurs need an extra loan to keep their heads above water. Half of the companies expecting a liquidity shortage estimate that it needs an amount between 5,000 to 30,000 euros, 16 percent foresees a deficit of 30,000 to 50,000 euros and 10 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed fear a gap of at least 50,000 euros.
Despite the easing of the lockdown and government support, a quarter of entrepreneurs expect to generate 80 percent less turnover in the next three months than before the coronavirus outbreak. Catering entrepreneurs in particular, but also retailers take this into account.
That is not really surprising, says Julian van de Steeg, director and co-founder of the financing counter. “We know that some sectors such as the catering and retail sectors have been hit hard by the lockdown. What this makes clear is what entrepreneurs have yet to take on. ”
And that that will not be easy, was already clear from the forecast of the Central Planning Bureau. That calculated that if the decline in turnover continues for six months or more due to the corona crisis, a quarter of small and medium-sized enterprises will have problems meeting short-term financial obligations. If the aid is not included, this even applies to half of the companies.
According to BridgeFund’s research, some of the companies have already had to lay off staff and halt planned investments. It is all the more striking that, despite the poor and gloomy prospects, the surveyed entrepreneurs remain reasonably positive.
In the survey, for example, only three percent of entrepreneurs fear an approaching bankruptcy. Van de Steeg also finds this striking fact. According to him, this typifies the entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurs are people who see opportunities and seize opportunities. The resilience and creativity is great, as it shows. And they have a drive to keep going.”
According to the study, more than a quarter of entrepreneurs expect to need more than a year to make up for the damage suffered. Just over half of the entrepreneurs expect to make up for the loss this year. One of the entrepreneurs who remain positive is the 59-year-old optician Oscar Nieuwenhout of Oscars Optiek from Zoetermeer.
At the beginning of the corona crisis, he feared a shortage of money and thought he needed a loan of 4,000 euros, on top of the loan of more than 16,000 euros that he must have repaid before the end of the year. ,, The first few weeks I was in the rats if I could keep it all financially strong. Far fewer customers came in and the bills just keep going. ”
In the end, he turned out not to need that extra financing, he says. Although he sells fewer frames – especially the more expensive multi-focus is much less often sold – but he has managed to absorb that loss fairly well with a new activity. He now does a lot of eye measurements and preliminary examination, in consultation and in collaboration with the ophthalmologist from the nearby hospital. ,, It sounds like a success story, but I am mainly someone who will not go wrong. I immediately sat down with several creditors to see what was possible and luckily it worked out well for me. ”