Half of Switzerland’s Restaurants Risk Bankruptcy

Geneva, Jan 10 (AFP/APP): Nearly half of Switzerland’s restaurants and hotels risk bankruptcy within months of failing financial support to weather devastating Covid-19 measures, the sector’s employer group warned Sunday.

The Swiss government is expected this week to extend the closure of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities across the country until the end of February to control stubbornly high Coronavirus case and death numbers.

But industry federation GastroSuisse warned in a statement that if done without providing significant financial support, around half of businesses in the restoration and hospitality sector could go belly-up by the end of March.

The group polled around 4,000 restaurant and hotel owners, and determined that 98 percent of them already are in urgent need of financial support. “The very existence of many of them is threatened,” GastroSuisse president Casimir Platzer said in the statement.

While restaurants and other businesses quickly received financial support when Switzerland went into partial lockdown during the initial wave of infections, GastroSuisse has complained that support during subsequent sporadic closures has lagged.

Before the crisis, more than 80 percent of Swiss restaurants and hotels were in a good or very good position of liquidity, the study showed. But that situation quickly deteriorated.

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