It seemed unlikely that José Bastos Jr. would encounter difficulties in both types of business. After all, they are completely different areas: he owns two accounting offices in Rio de Janeiro and also serves on the board of directors of the Mafia brewery in Niterói (RJ). But the COVID-19 pandemic hit both deals head-on.
In offices that employ 75 people, the number of customers decreased, as part of the demand was from bars, restaurants and gyms, which were temporarily closed or did not survive the epidemic.
By early 2021, the situation appeared to have improved, with new customers coming in. But the increase in coronavirus cases, and the consequent shutdown of non-essential activities, has dealt a new blow to business.
We understand the need [do fechamento], it was clear. Day by day, we’ve seen things get worse in the healthy scenario. (…) We insure all employees, and use the benefits of the law to the fullest. We used almost everything permitted by law.
Jose Bastos Jr.
At the brewery, the scenario was even more dramatic: reduced demand for bars and restaurants, which is fundamental to the company, reduced sales to 5% of what they were before the crisis. At the same time, the company was forced to close a bar it maintains on site. The contract for the six employees was suspended, and the brewery had to boost its delivery service, which was underdeveloped before the pandemic.
Despite everything, we are optimistic. We believe that by the first quarter of 2022 at the latest, we will have demand from new clients in the offices. And in the brewery, we hope, as the vaccination progresses, in October we will achieve a significant increase in sales.
Jose Bastos Jr.