Belgium: business at the castle

Бельгия: бизнес на замке

In Menen, a small Belgian town on the border with France, is usually traveled every day hundreds of fracaso to buy food, cigarettes or alcohol. It’s simple – the neighbors lower prices. But now because of the pandemic coronavirus border shut. Affects not only French citizens who are not able to save. Losses are Belgian businessmen.

Virginia Bray, the owner of the tobacco shop, “Here in Menen, everything literally froze. Because the border is completely blocked. In Mouscron we have several workers who come to Belgium. But they are very few. It’s unbearable”.

Some owners, despite the fact that the restrictive measures began to weaken, had to close their shops for lack of customers from France. We can only hope that soon better days will come.

Xavier Vandewalle, a store employee in Menen: “it is very difficult. 95% of our customers are French. So let’s do the math. The Belgians account for only 5%. It is difficult for us. Very difficult.”

Small and medium businesses receives regional and Federal assistance, but not enough to cover the losses. Sale in Menen decreased by 90%. To cross the Franco-Belgian frontier without good reason, hardly anyone dares. The police will punish the offender with a fine of 250 euros.

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