Shop owners fighting to survive in corona crises


Due to the lack of business in the province, shopkeepers in large and small shopping malls, including those in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Cantt, Gulberg, Shadman, Allama Iqbal Town, Johar Town and other areas have started closing down.
Mian Naveed, a property agent from Shadman’s Sheikh State Agency, told Profit that businesses were open after the government’s announcement of Smart Lockdown, but there was no improvement.
“In the Shadman area, about 40 shopkeepers who had taken shops on rent have closed their businesses. Prior to Covid-19 pandemic, business was booming in Shadman Market and even major store chains had also started opening their stores here. Recently, Levi’s store was also open in the same area, which is now closed.
Many shopkeepers left the shops on their own due to non-payment of rent and some people opened their shops after smart lockdown but due to lack of business they became discouraged and vacated the shops.”
Ghulam Nabi, a real estate agent from Gulberg informed that he had at least 30 shops available for rent, which shopkeepers had recently vacated due to lack of business.
“Not only the shopkeepers are worried about not having business but also the landlords are facing difficulties as many people are running their monthly expenses on the rents coming from their properties.
Many landlords are also willing to rent out their shops in cheap rates due to the current situation. The shop whose monthly rent was Rs40,000 is now vacant and land-lord is also ready to rent it on Rs35,000.
On the other hand, a shopkeeper, Aatif Shahzad in a shopping plaza in Shadman said that his garment shop was running very well before Covid-19 pandemic, which is now closed. “Business was good here before pandemic.
There was a good daily income from which the shop rent and salaries of the employees were paid. After the lockdown, our business suddenly closed and about three months’ rent was due. The closure of our business has directly shut down the stoves of four houses. The business community is in a lot of trouble at the moment and the government should think seriously about it.”
Adeel Amjad, who runs a biryani shop on Bedian Road, told Profit that he had closed his business due to lack of rent. “My shop had a monthly rent of Rs15,000 while I used to earn Rs40,000 to Rs45,000 per month from this shop. After the coronavirus, people are reluctant to buy food from small shops.
I was implementing all the SOPs and facilitating takeaways instead of serving food on the spot.
Most of my clients were laborers because our food is very cheap. Due to lack of work, the workers are also unemployed and my business is also closed. Now, I have advertised to sell my shop but no one is ready to buy it,” he said.
However, speaking to Profit an official of Planning and Development (P&D) Board said, “P&D is working to support MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) and improving their registration process.
Work is underway to rehabilitate the entire formal and non-formal sector affected by Covid-19. P&D has also submitted proposals to the government in this regard.
No doubt, businesses have been affected and the government will take all possible steps to rehabilitate them”.­

Previous articleDescon continues to operate without lost time injuries
Next articleUoS holds webinar on economic challenges