“We will open until 8 p.m. tonight. We will see what happens, because that is longer than what the mayors have stated.” The catering entrepreneurs in Zwolle, like other colleagues across the country, are opening their doors today, despite the fact that the lockdown will last at least 10 days longer for them. But where the IJsselland Security Region has said to tolerate opening until 5 p.m., entrepreneurs in Zwolle plan to remain open until 8 p.m. “We want to use that to tell our story.”
“A little angry.” Dennis Kaatman, owner of café Het Vliegende Paard in the provincial capital, expresses his feelings after last night’s press conference with a sense of understatement. The doors are (partially) unlocked for just about all sectors, except for the catering and culture sectors. They got the lid on their nose again, as has often been the case during this corona crisis.
Measure after measure
“It is necessary,” says Kaatman about today’s protest. “Perhaps more can be done in 10 days, but this is what has happened over the past two years: from press conference to press conference, from measure to measure. And we have simply not been open properly, not for two years.”
I now dare to say that the well-being in our industry is under heavy pressure.
Kaatman understands that choices have to be made by the cabinet. “The only thing is that my company, my industry has been on the wrong side of those choices for two years now. Then the cake is gone. That is why we open today as a protest.” They will see a possible fine – the Zwolle entrepreneurs keep their doors open for three hours longer than tolerated – if it comes to that.
‘Every day counts’
“I have sixty employees, I see how difficult they are with the uncertainty. I see my fellow entrepreneurs having a hard time. Some people’s wallets are literally empty. A colleague has had to sell his house. Then you have other choices. Every day counts, you really can’t make any other choice,” emphasizes Kaatman.
Some will go under, not just in Zwolle. “It is now also about welfare. We have a Minister of Health and Welfare? I can now say that welfare in our industry is under heavy pressure.”
Will it stay with those three hours tonight? “We are looking at what more we can do about actions. We are not looking to break the rules, we are looking to draw attention to the situation. There is now talk about how we can do that in the coming week, in the coming weeks.”