Businessmen optimistic with first New Year’s Eve without restrictions

Money

The first New Year’s Eve in ‘freedom’ post covid is being viewed with a lot of optimism by nightlife entrepreneurs, at a time when the industry is trying to recover from the losses caused by the pandemic.

The feeling of optimism was expressed to the Lusa agency by the presidents of the Portuguese Association of Bars, Discos and Entertainers (APBDA), Ricardo Tavares, and the National Disco Association (ADN), José Gouveia.

“Expectations are high. The hotel industry is at 90% of its capacity. Therefore, we believe that for the sector it will be a very positive end of the year. We want to start with the right foot and believe that next year will be a year of growth and recovery,” said the president of APBDA to Lusa.

In the same vein, José Gouveia expressed the desire to achieve a “full return to New Year’s Eve before the pandemic.

“The expectation is maximum because we all hope that the nightlife establishments fill up until no one fits, with the proper security measures,” pointed out the president of ADN.

Despite the optimism, the associations warned of the difficulties experienced in the sector, at a time when they are still trying to recover from the losses resulting from the measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

“The sector is going through some difficulties, namely because it has started to pay all the moratoriums, both of the covid financing and the rents. It’s a very high burden to pay. There are spaces that are paying double the rent they were paying, because they were two years without paying”, said Ricardo Tavares.

In this sense, the president of the Portuguese Association of Bars and Discos admitted that he will seek more support for the entrepreneurs of the sector.

“We are trying to get the Government to give us a respite of three to six months next year with the moratoriums so that the businessmen can deal with their debts,” he stressed.

For his part, José Gouveia considered that the recovery in the sector is being “positive”, although “slow”, as a result of inflation and the 19 months in which the activity was closed.

“The problem here is in the hole left behind. There was, effectively, a very large drop during the 19 months in which the establishments were closed, so it is a progressive recovery,” he said.

Like Ricardo Tavares, the president of ADN defended that the Government will have to be “more attentive” to the difficulties experienced in the sector.

“The Government was a little asleep in this matter. It should pay some attention to the development of these activities and realize whether they do not need some support”, he stressed.