Businesses on the Costa del Sol could fall at a rate of 3 a day predicts professional accountant and auditor Stephen Williams.
Regular visitor to the Costa del Sol Stephen Williams a chartered accountant based in the UK, feels that unless the Spanish government step in and assist SL companies and self employed traders during the current crisis, it could lead to a loss of businesses owned by expats on the coast at a rate of 3 a day.
Businesses at present are all closed and locked up stretching along the coast with no financial revenue at all coming through for at least 14 days.
Whilst traders are praying it only lasts 14 days as set so far, the fears and expectations of many that the current crisis and lockdown could last up to 6 weeks or potentially more are a frightening prospect for many as Stephen Williams explained to the Euro Weekly News:
“I have many clients who have moved lock stock and barrel to the Costa del Sol after selling up at home and investing in mainly bars and restaurants along the Costa del Sol region, the obvious first point of sufferance will be cash flow and the longer the lockdown goes on the worst the situation will become, many clients aren’t cash rich, they have sold up in the UK invested in a home and a bar come restaurant and rely on weekly takings for salary and running costs such as rents, many will still have to be covering staffing costs.”
” Whilst British business is massively affected, the Government are trying to keep it running financially whilst Spain have simply shut down with no relief for businesses apart from delaying tax payments, the reality is though if you aren’t making profits there are very little tax payments anyway, I also expect Banks in Spain not be as supportive as British banks, but British banks are unlikely to support businesses in Spain even though they are owned by British nationals, I see them assisting more on their door step so to speak, where Spanish banks can be volatile and you never know how they will react to expat business owners” Williams continued.
” Personally if this lockdown goes over 14 days into say 6 weeks as many are predicting then I can see 3 a day closing down for good, many have used up their reserves through the winter months as well and planning would have been for the boosting summer trade, but that trade even with an early lockdown finish on 14 days isn’t going to come, nobodies likely to travel to Spain for a holiday and the coronavirus peak time is expected at the end of June early July according to health experts, remember this started in December in China and still continues, thats 4 months at least.” Stephen shared.
” My personal opinion is if Governments are going to force businesses to close in a free world, then they have to take responsibility financially, all businesses should have rent relief for starters, the landlords should be able to claim their losses from the Government and not pressure the traders for rent when they are closed” he continued.
” The sad thing is, due to the unforeseen circumstances good traders and good business people will lose out, not just closing their bars and the cash flow, but years of savings and investments will be lost, lease money for starters can be up to 100k or more, if they fall behind they won’t be in a position to resell the lease just as an example”
“Landlords if the Government don’t step in with measures, need to be patient, they should remember this could turn into a recession yet and their property could sit there for years later”
” Traders need to get trading, home deliveries etc, don’t sit back and rely on this being a 14 day only lockdown period, provide service around the regulations for example online trading – more people will be on the internet now than ever” he finalised.