There appears to be room for stores, but if they aren’t allowed to fully open on Saturdays, some stores will never open again. This also applies to Henri and Corine Kroon, owners of De Oude Bieb in Zeewolde. BNR journalist Martijn de Rijk visited them.
Big and comfortable, that’s the best way to describe De Oude Bieb à Zeewolde. From old books to beautiful tin cans and a piece of restoration. The owners Henri and Corine Kroon are delighted to take the time to explain how their establishment is built. “There are officially three retail businesses,” says Corine, laughing. “We use the middle one as the main entrance. The books are listed in alphabetical order and distributed among around forty libraries and the vintage furniture sets the mood.
But, the atmosphere does not reach anyone. The place is empty, and it weighs heavily on the couple. “Because of the take-out meals, we sometimes see customers and there are a few loyal customers who come every day to get a take-out box, but we can’t live off that alone,” Henri is realistic. “So we have to reopen if we are to continue doing what we love most.”
Close for good
Henri admits that they are not in very good shape. “Bad”, even dares to admit Henri. “We’re really at the point where we’ll stop if the doors can’t open now. The past shows that people like to come to our house to really sniff around etc so if that doesn’t work we will close.
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In addition to the practical and financial reasons, Henri also evokes the emotional charge involved in the confinement situation. “All this uncertainty makes it not very pleasant to continue to hope and wait. This is why we made this choice. He is supported by his wife Corine, who must shed a tear. “It hurts a lot,” she said with emotion. “You put something here at the heart of Zeewolde. This is also what customers say, you are the heart of Zeewolde. It’s so nice to be here, they say. And then it suddenly becomes impossible.
According to Corine, the help offered is not sufficient either. “They say you can call on the support of the past two years,” she said. ‘And it’s. But if it turns out that you suddenly have to pay back this aid because you made a little too much turnover in one quarter during the period you were allowed to reopen, then it doesn’t weigh any more. on the others. Then the support is only a fraction of what’s needed, and a lot you have to do yourself to keep those doors open.
Henri and Corine do not hesitate. They will open on Saturday anyway. “Then the initial confinement period will end,” explains Henri. “We are still waiting for the reaction of the local government here, but I hope we will get some support. That we, as entrepreneurs, can make a statement together. If we are to maintain the quality of life in this country, we all have to go. Because if we no longer have a heart in the city centers, what will we have that binds us?
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