Friday, February 23

A balloon of oxygen to finance hotels and restaurants

Restaurants and hotels continue their slow recovery after the ravages caused by the coronavirus health pandemic. Despite the fact that in 2021 vaccination gave the sector a break, income has not yet managed to recover pre-COVID levels. And now, the uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the pandemic and the rising prices for electricity and raw materials keep these businesses on their toes.

Financing has been key for many establishments to have been able to stay afloat. Banco Santander allocated 4,000 million euros last year to support restaurants and hotels. This figure means exceeding the levels prior to the crisis and almost double that granted in 2019. “The bank’s agility in resolving customer proposals has been decisive for many entrepreneurs to have been able to continue promoting their businesses, in a sector key for the Spanish economy that has been greatly affected by the pandemic ”, they point out from the entity.

The entity has 132,000 customers in this sector and a turnover of 12.5 billion. From them, 114,000 belong to the field of restoration ––around 68% are self-employed–– and the other 18,000 to hotel companies ––60% micro-SMEs––. In 2019, the entity created a sector specific unitin addition to a center specializing in franchises, in which organized restoration plays a very important role.

The products most in demand by hotel and restaurant customers have been, on the one hand, those related to financing: credits, loans, leasing furniture or Agile Payment, which finances the payment of invoices to suppliers. On the other, insurance, such as cybersecurity and multi-risk, as well as POS terminals in all their forms: physical, free, virtual and telephone.

Digitization, key to the future

The crisis has also consolidated some trends, especially digitization. As pointed out by the Hospitality Yearbook of Spain, digital technology will serve to improve processes, both production and marketing, which will make it possible to take advantage of new entrepreneurial opportunities. Home delivery and takeaway food will continue to experience a boom that will add to the comprehensive offer of businesses. It will also improve management, professionalization and efficiency, which together with sustainability and training are key to the recovery and future of the sector.

In fact, close to 60% of Banco Santander’s clients in the sector are digitized. The entity offers a wide range of services to facilitate the day-to-day running of its business. Among them OneDigitalan online platform that allows you to make transfers over the Internet throughout the European Union and other countries that accept euros ––SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area for its acronym in English–), access Bizum and operate in foreign currency, as well as to offer tools to digitize the self-employed, micro-enterprises and SMEs.

It also has an exclusive proposal for customers who want to create their online business and thus boost their business; and the platform Santander ZOnewhich works as a virtual showcase for the products and services of businesses from the apps of the bank and helps them connect with a market of more than five million potential consumers, in addition to offering discounts, experiences and exclusive advantages. It also highlights the service DeadlineXwhich allows you to defer payment up to 12 monthly payments at the time of purchase.

In addition, the bank has developed, in collaboration with the global financial services networks KPMG and LocalEurope, a platform for management and information on public aid, especially those from funds Next Generation Europe. This tool makes it possible to find out which aid or subsidy is best suited to each business profile. Santander’s objective is to avoid that, due to ignorance or the complexity of its processing, SMEs cannot access them.