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Economy

Pandemic Cost Greek Businesses 3.6 Billion Euros in 2021 Q1

ATHENS – Showing how devastating the lingering COVID-19 pandemic has been on Greece, businesses said they suffered losses of at least 3.6 billion euros ($4.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2021 when they were locked down.

That was a 5.4 percent further drop over the first period of 2020 when the pandemic gripped Greece in March of that year and began spreading across the country, bringing two lockdowns, one still technically in effect.

Not surprising, it was worse for non-essential businesses that were either barred from opening or had to rely on alternating openings or a click-and-collect method in which people could make purchases online and pick up outside the stores.

Their revenues fell 39.1 percent, some of which they hope to recoup now that people are allowed to shop again and tourists who are vaccinated or free of the Coronavirus are being allowed in, a big spending unit.

Figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) released May 18 showed businesses took in 63.56 billion euros ($77.66 billion) in the first quarter, down from 67.16 billion euros ($82.06 billion) in 2020.

The biggest losses in percentage terms were recorded in the sectors of arts and entertainment that shut, said Kathimerini, their turnover falling 70.4 percent over last year.

Food and hospitality businesses now allowed to operate only for outdoor dining took a 53.9 percent hit but that translated to staggering losses of 920 million euros ($1.124.05 billion) and won't be allowed to open indoors until June 1.

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