Four thousand businesses have closed in Yucatan due to the pandemic: Canacope

Jorge Cardeña Licona

“In Yucatan, around four thousand small businesses have filed for bankruptcy, closing temporarily or permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, revealed Jorge Cardeña Licona, president of the National Chamber of Commerce in Small, Services, and Tourism (Canacope-Servytur) in Merida.

The main reasons are low sales (up to 60 percent losses), lack of solvency, high costs of electricity services and rents, and the situation got more complicated by new measures that the Yucatan government established to prevent infections and deaths, which restrict mobility, reduce business hours and prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

In recent days, the head of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Mérida, Michel Salum Francis, said: “I think that informal trade has increased because many people have lost their jobs, people are any type of income, and this situation could lead to an increase in crime too”.

For its part, the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac), in Yucatan, indicated this weekend that “several restaurateurs have run out of oxygen” and the situation could worsen if the state returns to the Red traffic light.

Cardeña Licona indicated that the small businesses most affected are the grocery stores, as well as hairdressers, bookstores, beer agencies, and others considered as non-essential. In the absence of profits, there is no way to pay wages, electricity, rent.

“It is better to close than to open a business that does not meet the needs,” he said. More than one thousand corner stores that have operated normally for years or decades have been forced to close due to the pandemic”, he added.

“Given this scenario, many businesses and people who have become unemployed have chosen to join the informal trade to survive, and more people will resort to that option, as they can no longer pay salaries, rent, electricity, and so on”, the executive concluded.