Despite the existence-threatening burdens of the corona pandemic in individual industries, the economy in the Borken district continues to be robust overall. This is the conclusion drawn by the chairwoman of the IHK regional committee for the Borken district, Anja Meuter, after the virtual committee meeting.
According to a recent survey by the IHK North Westphalia, over 43 percent of the companies in the Borken and Coesfeld districts rate their business situation as good, which is the highest value in the entire IHK district (average 35 percent). Four out of five companies also stated that they expect sales to remain the same or even increase in 2021. "Many companies that are not directly affected by the lockdown are now able to deal with the pandemic better than they did a year ago," said committee chairwoman Anja Meuter, managing director of Team Meuter GmbH (Gescher). Sophisticated protection and hygiene concepts as well as extensive home office regulations have now become part of the normal and well-functioning everyday work of most companies, says Meuter.
Economic sectors such as the hospitality industry and tourism, personal services and parts of the stationary retail trade, which are in a persistently acute economic crisis due to the tightened lockdown in December 2020, are of great concern to the IHK. Their representatives spoke out vehemently during the meeting in favor of binding opening plans for the closed establishments. Implementable solutions were required which combine a binding opening plan with the necessary protective measures. “The industries concerned urgently need perspective and planning security,” explains Anja Meuter. Many textile retailers would have to make a decision as quickly as possible about which collections to buy. The dealers would have to know exactly how big the risk is, whether the new collection, like the winter collection, will remain in the warehouse. It could easily cost several hundred thousand euros. Vehicles and other products also lose value every day that they cannot be sold.
"A specific planning perspective for the industries affected by the closings is of fundamental importance," said Meuter. The current planning from week to week only increases the livelihood, especially of the many self-employed people and small and medium-sized businesses. The entrepreneur Meuter also emphasizes: "There is no question that the risk of a renewed increase in infections continues and it will be with us for a while." Another back and forth between shutdown and relaxation should be avoided.
It is clear that the duration of the pandemic is pulling the economic strength of the companies affected and that the return to pre-crisis levels will likely take longer than hoped for many. “Many companies in the sectors particularly affected have used up their financial reserves and some had to go into debt. That is money that is missing in the orientation towards future-oriented business fields ”, says Meuter. It must be prevented that the commercial economy is split into a robust part and an existence-threatened part in the consumer sectors affected by the lockdown.
The development of the aid programs is currently positive. Bridging aid III could finally be applied for, a write-off option for, among other things, seasonal goods was introduced and the restart aid for self-employed people was increased. "It took a while for the aid to flow, but now more and more companies are reporting to us that the aid funds are arriving and are helping them to keep business operations going", says Meuter.
Keyword IHK regional committee for the Borken district:
With almost 60 voluntary entrepreneurs from a wide variety of industries, the IHK regional committee forms the voice of the economy in the Borken district. The panel deals with local and regional issues and projects that have an impact on the economy. In addition, the regional committee advises the general assembly, the executive committee and the management of the IHK North Westphalia.
Photo / picture line: Anja Meuter, chairwoman of the IHK regional committee for the Borken district