Coronavirus lockdown: DSGV President demands better prospects for re-opening shops and hotels

10.03.2021 - Press release Nr. 09

Based on turnover and rating trends among the business clients of Germany’s Savings Banks, the German Savings Banks Association concludes that the financial situation of small and medium-sized service and retail enterprises has deteriorated since the beginning of 2021. “Although the revenues of these companies remained largely stable until the end of 2020, their revenues and financial strength have declined since January 2021 – in some cases sharply. Non-food retail outlets, service businesses as well as hotels and restaurants have been hit particularly hard”, said the DSGV President at today’s financial press conference of the Savings Banks Finance Group in Berlin.

According to Schleweis, Savings Banks and Landesbanken have been able to help many enterprises cope with the crisis in the past twelve months by significantly increasing their lending volume, by granting promotional loans and by deferring redemption payments. “However, for more and more small and medium-sized enterprises and for the self-employed, the economic restrictions are now threatening survival”, said Schleweis. While Germany’s aid programmes were unique worldwide in terms of their volume and design, this aid was arriving “at snail's pace”. Many business clients had not even received the advances they requested, let alone the actual bridging allowances. What was needed here was much more speed.

Top priority must be given to protecting health during the coronavirus pandemic. “However, the virus – and its mutations – will stay with us for a long time. We will therefore have to learn to deal with it responsibly in everyday life.” For this reason, future prospects for re-opening business and culture should be more focused on cogent testing, prevention and hygiene strategies.

Schleweis drew attention to the fact that, in late February, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute had drawn on the latest global scientific evidence to describe individual infection risks, the sectoral breakdown of total infections and the impact on illnesses and deaths in 17 areas of life. The figures showed that the infection risks posed by hotels and retail outlets were quite low. For this reason, it would be appropriate and proportionate to offer these sectors, which had been hit especially hard, greater prospects for re-opening in the near future. 

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