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"It's all down to business": handicraft threatens bankruptcy


              Until a few weeks ago, many craftsmen could still choose their customers, the order books were full to the brim. But that has changed rapidly, says the industry's chief lobbyist. Not only cancellations are problematic, but also breakdown supply chains.
              In the previous booming craft sector, too, many companies are experiencing great difficulties due to the Corona crisis. "The order books, which are still full to the last minute, are emptying at such a pace and scope that many companies that were in very good shape just a few weeks ago are already getting down to business," said Holger Schwannecke, general secretary of the industry association ZDH. Sales collapse, customers stay away and orders are canceled to an unprecedented extent. "Orders could also not be fulfilled because supply chains collapse. The craft trade had achieved significant sales increases in recent years, many companies worked on the sidelines However, the consequences of the corona crisis now have a strong impact on the substance of the factories, many of which only have reserves for around four weeks, said Schwannecke, "After that, if the revenue does not continue and the costs continue to run, they will go bankrupt." For many craft businesses, the continuation and future of their business is now at real risk. "That is why it is so important that craft businesses receive liquidity aids quickly and unbureaucratically so that they remain solvent. And it is important to provide them with tools such as short-time work benefits so that they can keep their employees. "After all, craftsmen would have to make a significant contribution to maintaining basic services in the coming weeks," said Schwannecke Bakers, butchers and confectioners provide the population with fresh products, are still involved in sanitary, heating and air conditioning trades, as well as electricians, and textile and building cleaners take care of the hygiene that is now all the more necessary. It is therefore all the more important that the companies can continue. "The federal government's support measures that have already been put in place should reach the company owners much more quickly and with less bureaucracy." Application procedures have to be streamlined and some usual checks on loan and loan applications have to be avoided. Many are concerned with days, not weeks. "The federal government had decided on unlimited credit programs to secure liquidity. Other business associations had also criticized that the programs were too bureaucratic.

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