Over 2,500 businesses closed their doors in Buenos Aires City, Greater Buenos Aires and La Plata in January, a new survey has revealed.
Debt is one of the main factors behind business closures, which totalled 2,536 in two of Argentina's most important metropolitan areas, the Quarterly Economic Survey (EME) reported.
The EME is prepared by the NGO Defendamos Buenos Aires and the Miglino y Abogados firm. A total of 120 people collaborated in the preparation of the investigation, they reported.
"This is the worst January we have measured in five years. There were never as many closed businesses," said Javier Miglino, from Million y Abogados. "We found an average 82 closures per day" in January.
The report suggested that in Buenos Aires City a total of 745 businesses closed against 1,539 in Greater Buenos Aires and 252 in other areas and neighbourhoods, including 77 in La Plata.
In Buenos Aires City, the popular food and entertainment area of Las Cañitas saw 38 businesses close their doors. Puerto Madero followed with 36, Downtown with 35, and Belgrano with 18.
In Buenos Aires province, La Plata accounted for 77 closures; Lomas de Zamora and Banfield had 68; Florencio Varela, 58; and San Isidro, 39.
"Many businesspeople and small businesses have created crisis committees to address the debts they cannot restructure. They even try to renegotiate those debts with banks, which charge more than 100 percent annual interest, as well as with their employees and providers", Miglino added.
The worst hit industries, according to the report, were Women's Apparel and Shoes, Gastronomy, Men's Apparel and Shoes, Hardware, Agencies, and Car Repair Workshops.
The report estimated 10,144 workers had been impacted by the closures.