It’s a glimmer of hope! There is optimism in many Berlin industries, but by no means in all of them.
By Isabel Pfannküche and Justus Jeep
This emerges from the economic report of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and the Chamber of Crafts. “We have left the valley of death and have clearly come over the pass again – so things are going uphill,” says Jan Eder, managing director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
► In spring, 93 percent of the tourism industry reported bad deals. Currently, given the many corona easing, it is only 34 percent.
► It looks similarly positive for sales in the catering trade. But: every third company lacks skilled workers!
Because during the lockdowns, many employees are laid off because restaurants and cafes have been forcibly closed for months.
► Many retailers complain about low visitor numbers. Quite a few Berliners shop online.
► The situation is also still critical for so-called private services such as hairdressers and beauticians.
► More than half of the companies in the gas, district heating and electricity sectors are given notice that they have to increase their sales prices further! Reason: delivery bottlenecks and rising raw material and energy prices!
► Positive: 86 percent of Berlin’s craft businesses are satisfied with the order situation. And: “Every third craft business wants to build employment,” says Jürgen Wittke, General Manager of the Berlin Chamber of Crafts.
Another glimmer of hope: During the pandemic, Berliners saved up. Now many are spending more money on furniture, household appliances and food again.
Tourism industry is hoping for the Christmas season
The Christmas markets are due to open soon, and the big gift shopping begins.The tourism and events industry is also hoping for business. In 2021, 6.4 million fewer visitors came to the city than before Corona!
Burkhard Kieker (60), managing director of “Visit Berlin”, says: “From a tourist point of view, August to October were very good months. But our main concern is the lack of trade fairs and congresses. “
Delivery bottlenecks for heating fitters
Do we have to freeze this winter?
The fact is: Berlin’s heating fitters are struggling with delivery bottlenecks, circuit boards are missing!
Matthias Frankenstein, Managing Director of “Mercedöl”, says: “Sometimes the promised goods just don’t arrive and we don’t even know anything about them. With large blocks of flats, we don’t always manage to meet deadlines. “
He emphasizes: “The tenants then often think that it is the property management’s fault, but there is much more to it.”
So far, his company has been able to satisfy all customers. Frankenstein: “In an emergency, we can also work with heating containers.”
Hairdressers raise prices, customers are missing
The new haircut now costs significantly more than before Corona!
In Kirstin Ellen Vietze’s (51) hairdressing salon, prices are increased by an average of 10 euros!
“This is mainly due to the fact that we are no longer allowed to occupy all the chairs and electricity costs have risen,” she says. After the permanent lockdown, March was finally a good month for the industry again, but it is still far from normal.
“We are in an office area, many Berliners still work from home and therefore do not come to us,” said Vieze. “But weddings don’t take place as usual either.”
Introduce local & rest days
Imagine that the bars are open, but hardly anyone is serving …
Some restaurants and cafés have even introduced additional rest days due to the shortage of skilled workers.
Gastronomer Jan Philipp Bubinger (36) from the restaurant “Ststandung” says: “We were constantly placing job advertisements on Ebay, and yet we received almost no applications. Due to Corona, many people from service and the kitchen have switched to other professions. “
Five of his employees dropped out before the summer season to work at test centers or supermarkets.
Will they recover again? Not clear!