Leisure and entertainment venues across Taiwan are suspended as part of the Level 3 COVID alert. For many big chain companies, the sudden interruption of income is crippling. It”s a struggle to stay afloat for big franchises in sectors such as food and drink, wedding banquets, and fitness.

A notice on the door of the gym says, “Temporarily Closed.” Once-popular exercise machines sit cold and silent.

As part of the Level 3 COVID alert, all big leisure and entertainment facilities must suspend operations. That”s pulled the plug on income at this big gym chain, which has 154 branches and 50,000 members nationwide.

Chen Ying-ju
Fitness center operations manager
The pandemic has had a gigantic impact on us. Our membership fees are our main source of income. In this period we have no income. So we”re supporting our branches to negotiate with their landlords and hopefully get rents reduced.

This manager revealed her company is renovating its branches, to avoid putting employees on unpaid leave. And this wedding planning company is facing hard times too.

Banquets are off the table due to COVID. For this banquet hall of three decades” standing, hundreds of weddings are postponed, and 10% to 20% of those customers have canceled their bookings.

Wu Yung-chiang
Wedding banquet planning industry
This wave has come suddenly, quickly, and hard. All the banquet halls are suspended and have zero income. Last time, we could still do some catering. But how it is this time, we even have to consider the risks for our employees.

According to the Association of Chain and Franchise Promotion, almost 400 out of 2,469 franchise venues in Taiwan have been suspended, across the food and drink, beauty and fitness sectors. They”re banking on the latest bailout bill to help these struggling industries.

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