Wednesday's papers: Pandemic polling, takeaway tensions, prime property

Wednesday's Helsingin Sanomat polled people around the country to find out how they're feeling about the pandemic.

A majority of Finns are still happy with the way Sanna Marin has handled the pandemic, according to Helsingin Sanomat's latest poll. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

With over a year having gone by since the coronavirus pandemic began, Wednesday's Helsingin Sanomat publishes the results of a poll (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on the subject.

The headline figure: 63 percent of Finns are either very or quite satisfied with the way Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has handled the crisis. That said, it's not all good news for the PM – the proportion of respondents who said they were very satisfied with her performance has declined from 39 percent in March 2020 to 21 percent in March 2021.

The proportion of those saying they are worried about the pandemic rose slightly since January, the paper reports, from 70 to 75 percent.

Of those, 21 percent said the coronavirus was worrying them a lot, in what the paper says is the highest proportion an HS poll has recorded since it began asking the question in February last year.

The poll of 1,037 people was carried out online by Kantar TNS on behalf of Helsingin Sanomat.

Food delivery competition heats up

As pubs, bars and restaurants in many parts of the country turn to takeaways to weather the economic impact of coronavirus-related shutdowns, some businesses are baulking at the costs of working with food delivery giants like Wolt and Foodora.

Oulu paper Kaleva reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on a new website, "Kotiintilaus", set up by the proprietors of Oulu's Cafe Stockholm.

According to Kaleva, cafe owner Päivi Illikainen broke off a contract with delivery app Wolt last year over concerns the company was taking too big a share of their revenue.

"The commission was so big that there was nothing left. We built a home-grown online store and started wondering if there were any other options out there," Illikainen told the paper.

The website partners with local taxi firm Otaxi to deliver orders. While Illikainen says speed and reliability are the service's "trump card", the costs are higher, charging 10 euros minimum for delivery.

For Iilikainen, the real benefit is the cost saving to her business. "The system is less than half the cost for us entrepreneurs compared to Wolt, for example," she told the paper.

EDIT This text has been edited to remove a quote that gave the impression Wolt charges restaurants even if they don't make any sales, in line with the original story at the Kaleva website.

Historic building seeks new tenants

A protected building on Helsinki's waterfront is looking for new tenants, according to a report in business daily Kauppalehti. (siirryt toiseen palveluun)

The Alvar Aalto-designed headquarters of forestry firm Stora Enso will be vacated by the company later this year, the paper writes, leaving open a prime patch of real estate in a building many refer to as the "Sugar Cube".

The building, which sits on Helsinki's South Harbour near the Presidential Palace and Uspenski Cathedral, has been home to Stora Enso and predecessor company Enso-Gutzeit since it was built in 1962.

The property's agents, management company Newsec, say the main attraction will be the 400 square metre restaurant space on the top floor.

"I hope to find a restaurateur who will bring something new to Helsinki's restaurant map. The top floor can be reached without passing through the office space," Newsec's Jussi Kivitie told Kauppalehti.