The City of Brussels has announced that it will provide one-off aid, to the amount of €2,000, to bar and cafe operators who have been forced to close because of the latest measures in the region.
1. Closure of bars and cafés
Bars and cafés across the region were forced to close their doors from Thursday morning for a period of one month, as part of a drastic attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in the city. This decision, which does not apply to restaurants, has been met with much criticism by establishment owners who say it could be disastrous for business. Liza Miller, manager of the bar Le Pantin, said that she is appalled and that this month-long closure will be catastrophic for her business. ‘Most bars follow exactly the same rules as restaurants, I do not understand this difference in treatment’, she explained.
2. Support measures
The council of aldermen of the city of Brussels have responded with a series of support measures, allocating €1 million to the cause. They have also announced that operators of cafés or bars in rented buildings within the portfolio of the Buildings Agency or the OCMW, will receive at least a one-month exemption from rent. This also applies to the managers of sports canteens in Brussels City. They have also asked private landlords and brewers to join with measures, stating, ‘we call on private landlords and brewers to do the same. It is logical solidarity between tenants and landlords’.