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Virus brings Ctg small traders to their knees


FE Report | December 07, 2020 00:00:00

Despite the markets and shops remaining open now during the corona virus outbreak, the small businessmen are suffering a lot, as the number of customers is not enough.

Many people are not maintaining the health rules in Chattogram now. But, the markets and shopping malls are following the rules and ensuring precautionary measures for their customers till now. But, the number of customers is not satisfactory, said the owners of shops at markets in Chattogram.

As a result, the volume of sale is not up to expectation. The small shopkeepers, small traders, tailors, owners of laundries and other such shops are passing a tough time.

Besides, the small traders and businessmen did not get loans from the banks. Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) held a session with bankers and small traders recently at its Bangabandhu Hall. The small entrepreneurs alleged in the meeting that they were deprived of the stimulus package or bank loans during the corona virus outbreak. The officials of the Bangladesh Bank told the meeting that if any bank failed to give loans to the small traders, the businessmen would contact the central bank to seek action against them.

The shop owners of Reajuddin Bazar told The Financial Express that they could not do their business properly in the prevailing corona virus situation. So, many shop owners would not be able to run their business due to heavy losses.

Salamat Ullah, owner of a shop at Reajuddin Bazar, said, "In the current year, we could not do our business due to the pandamic."

Sabina Chowdhury, owner of a shop at Afmi Plaza said, "In the current year, we could not sell that much even in the peak season. How can we survive now? We have to pay the shop-rent, staff wages and other utility bills."

Mahabubul Alam, president of CCCI, said that the business acvtivities were being hampered in the current year due to the corona outbreak. "Not only the big businessmen, but also small traders and businessmen including shop owners are suffering a lot now as they are in lose," he added.

Sayed Khurshid Alam, General Secretary of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, Chattogram district branch, said, "The markets and shopping malls are now open. But, the businessmen could not do their business during the Eid as we closed the shops at that time in fear of corona infections. Later, we opened the markets, but, now the buyers are few in markets. As a result, the shop owners are losers now. Many of the shop owners are struggling to pay the shop-rent and staff wages now."

President of Sanmar Ocean City Merchant Association and Finlay Market Merchant association Iftekhar Hossain Asad said, "The shop owners of our market still are suffering for lack of enough customers due to the coronavirus outbreak. The sales are still dull."

Talking to this correspondent of The Financial Express, most of the small shop keepers, small traders, tailors, owner of laundries and other shops said that they were suffering a lot.

The writer can be reached at [email protected]

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