Closure is hard for entrepreneurs: the doors are at risk of closing forever

There seems to be some space for shops, but if they are not allowed to open fully on Saturday, some shops will never open again. This also applies to Henri and Corine Kroon, owners of De Oude Bieb in Zeewolde. BNR correspondent Martijn de Rijk visited them.


Large and cozy, this is the best way to describe De Oude Bieb in Zeewolde. From old books to lunch boxes and pieces of food. Owners Henri and Corine Kroon are happy to take the time to explain how their establishment is built. “There are officially three retail properties,” says Corinne with a laugh. ‘We use the middle entrance as the main entrance. The books are arranged alphabetically and divided into forty bookcases and the antique furniture sets the atmosphere’.

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But the atmosphere does not reach anyone. The place is empty, and this takes a heavy toll on the couple. “Because of eating out, sometimes we see some customers and there are a few loyal guests who come every day for a takeaway box, but we can’t live on that on our own,” Henry is real. “So we have to reopen the door if we want to keep doing what we love most.”

close for good

Henry admits that they are not in very good shape. “Bad,” even Henry would dare to admit. “We’re really at the point where we’d stop if the doors didn’t open now. The past shows that people like to come to us to really swear, etc., so if that doesn’t work, we’ll close.

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In addition to the practical and financial reasons, Henri also mentions the emotional burden involved in the lockdown situation. All this uncertainty makes it very difficult to keep hoping and waiting. That’s why we made this choice. He is supported by his wife Corinne, who must have shed a tear. “It hurts so much,” she says emotionally. You put something here in Zeewold’s heart. That’s what customers say too, You are the heart of Zeewolde. They say it’s great to be here. Then suddenly it becomes impossible.

the support

And according to Corinne, the help provided is also not enough. “They say you can ask for support for the last two years,” she says. ‘and he. But if it turns out that you suddenly have to repay that support because you made too many sales in a quarter during the time you were allowed to open again, then there will be no weight against each other. Then support is only a small part of what is needed, and you have to do a lot on your own to keep those doors open.

Henry and Corinne do not hesitate. They will open on Saturday anyway. “Then the original lockdown period would be over,” Henry says. Anyway, we’re waiting for the local government’s reaction here, but I hope we can get some support. That we as entrepreneurs can make a statement together. If we want to preserve the quality of life in this country, we must all follow suit. Because if we no longer have a heart in the midst of cities, what holds us together?

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