Covid has done few favors for the economy even though the drug companies and private healthcare companies have done well like food delivery companies and streaming entertainment services. However, airlines, brick and mortar retail shops and foreign holiday operators have suffered along with many of those laid off when their workplaces were closed.
There have been some bright spots in the domestic hotel business here in Finland – some have flourished in beautiful rural spots, like in Lapland and on the coast, while several city-based hotels that cater for business folk have seen hard times.
The loudest complaints have mainly come from the restaurant lobby who have been seen every week on TV and in the leading newspapers complaining that their members have been suffering too much. However, their comments were at odds with many small family-owned restaurants who have done well because they have adapted. These people have very little debt and have been able to operate by putting in many extra hours of extra work during the week.
The big restaurant chains have suffered with their large floor areas, mountains of debt, and with those expensive corporate bosses who enjoy squeezing every last penny from staff, suppliers and customers. They have had to lay off staff, tried to renegotiate their loan repayments and been slow paying suppliers because customers have stayed at home. It is hard for the bosses to adapt because they too want to keep their large salaries.
This latter group has been the focal point of the restaurant lobby. The complaints have been aimed at the government for not giving enough support to these large companies. However, small family-owned restaurants tell FinnishNews that they received little or no Covid support from the government and have still managed to fare quite well by adapting. A few restaurants have said that they have had one of their best years in 2020/2021. They have not used the big food delivery firms to stay afloat but have used their own resources to deliver meals. They claim that loyal customers have also ordered meals by phone and picked them up themselves.
The most outrageous demands and claims by the restaurant lobby is that they should be allowed to remain open without having to check if customer has a Covid passport. Why should regular customers of a restaurant not want the owners to protect their staff and themselves from infection! This has nothing to do with discrimination. This is common sense and not discrimination in the generally accepted sense. This is a positive action that keeps people safe and healthy!