By Laura Kemp • 11 May 2020 • 15:40
ECONOMIC activity has advanced a step further this Monday in some parts of the country as half of Spain enters Phase 1 of the de-escalation. With the exception of the Community of Madrid, Malaga, Granada and parts of Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Castilla-La Mancha and the Castilian-Leonese capitals, the rest of the country has been able to open shops of all kinds, including bars and restaurants which have taken their terraces to half the capacity.
However, the start of this return to productivity has been rather uneven, according to a study carried out in the early hours of the day by the Union of Professionals and Self-Employed Workers (UPTA). According to their data, during the first day of Phase 1, 75 per cent of the businesses have opened their doors, but only 30 per cent of the hospitality sector has done so.
This data is part of the telephone tracking UPTA has carried out amongst a thousand businesses of the more than 300,000 that are part of its database.
According to UPTA President Eduardo Abad, the general feeling that has been evoked from these conversations is one of “hopefulness.” Not only because of the willingness of business owners to try and resume their business, but also because of the willingness of the consumer to participate in the business.
The influx of customers shows the benefits that these establishments are reaping, for example, in shops dedicated to the sale and repair of bicycles, who are “overwhelmed” by customer response and with sportswear stores. “We were surprised that they have a very large influx of public,” says Abad shortly after finishing the calls to do the study.
More generally, the survey has shown that although nearly 75 per cent of general commerce has opened their doors, only 30 per cent of the hospitality industry has opened.
In Phase 1 bars are only allowed to serve customers on their terraces or offer their services for takeaway. Due to climate characteristics, the study indicates that the opening of the hospitality sector has been more prevalent in the south than in the north of the country.
However, Abad points out that the data has been better as expected, in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria only 20-22 per cent of businesses with a terrace have opened. In Andalucia they estimate that 30 per cent of the hospitality sector has reopened and that those who have not done so already are simply preparing to do so.
The businesses who have definitely made their return known are hairdressers and beauty salons who, according to the study, 90 per cent have opened.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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