Commercial Restrictions: Losses Increase

As a result of the restrictions imposed by the Guatemalan Government, local businessmen estimate that sales in the commercial sector last weekend fell by up to 50% and the number of customers in restaurants and shopping centers decreased considerably.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

In order to promote actions aimed at interrupting the epidemiological chain of the Covid-19 disease, Ministerial Agreement 87-2021 was published on April 17 in the Diario de Centroamerica, a regulatory framework that requires a 25% reduction in the capacity of shopping malls, commercial centers, convenience stores and restaurants.

After the announcement of the restrictions that will be reviewed next April 30, local businessmen are beginning to experience a drop in their sales.

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Andrea Stella, vice president of the Guild of Restaurants of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala (CGC), told that "... 'the reduction of diners during the weekend was notorious, derived from the disorientation with clients'."

Attendance at restaurants was reduced from 70% to 35% due to the capacity, while liquor sales dropped from 21% to 6%, due to the application of the Prohibition Law, estimates the vice-president of the sector's guild.

According to Stella, the initial projections for the restrictions of Friday, April 16 affect at least nine thousand jobs and sales for more than $13 million.

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Jean Francois Dubois, deputy director of Corporación Metro Proyectos, reported that "... clothing, footwear, appliances and accessories stores also reported a 30% drop. 'For restaurants the drop in sales in shopping malls was 50% more, and at least that percentage was lost'."

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Action Against Commercial Restrictions

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Arguing that the measures applied by the government directly harm employees and owners of restaurants and bars, a group of businessmen in Guatemala filed a legal action in the Constitutional Court.

Restrictions to productive activity have already been applied for days, since with the purpose of promoting actions aimed at interrupting the epidemiological chain of the Covid-19 disease, on April 17 Ministerial Agreement 87-2021 was published in the Diario de Centroamerica, a regulatory framework that requires a 25% reduction in the capacity of shopping centers, shopping malls, convenience stores and restaurants.

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After the Costa Rican government announced that they are evaluating the option of lifting as of March the sanitary measure that restricts the free circulation of vehicles on weekends, the trade union of the commercial sector considers that this would be a great relief for the economy.

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Restaurants and Cost of Restrictions

January 2021

Following the announcement of the restrictions imposed in Guatemala to mitigate the outbreak of covid-19, which contemplate the closing of restaurants after 9:00 pm, businessmen anticipate that sales will fall and that they will have to reduce the number of personnel hired.

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Commercial Sector Begins to Suffer from the Crisis

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