Borders return, Pune businesses relive their worst struggle for survival
Pune: It was a difficult decision for Sagar Abnawe, who runs a shoe store in the Dhankawadi region. After struggling several times to run his business in recent months, he finally gave up due to the Covid situation and financial unsustainability.
In her 30s, Abnawe closed her store this month and is looking for a job that will provide her with a monthly income.
âSince the Covid-19 pandemic has been blocked, we have hardly been able to do business due to numerous blockages. As the number of customers has gone down, most of the months have gone either to a full lockdown or a restricted schedule, which is as good as a lockdown for us, âAbnawe said.
Many, like Abnawe, have decided to withdraw from existing activities given the uncertainties that the lockdowns induced by the pandemic have brought.
In Pune, the sidewalks returned from Monday with hours for non-essential shops revised until 4 p.m., down from 7 p.m. earlier. Shopping malls were closed just two weeks after resuming operations and restaurants are now only allowed to dine until 4 p.m.
The latest restrictions have had a major impact on the activities of traders and owners of non-essential stores as well as hoteliers. Across the city there are several large showrooms, shops and traders who have closed their businesses due to losses.
Another trader Mahesh Kasat, who owns a wholesale store in Ravivar peth, said: âWe are in the business of steel, aluminum, copper and other household utensils. Customers come either in the morning or after the end of office hours at 5.30 p.m. The revised restrictions will affect our business. I have already suffered losses of more than â¹20 lakh due to the pandemic. If the situation continues, I will have no choice but to go out of business. ”
Many traders fear a labor shortage.
âAs the state government’s restriction standards continue to change each month, workers and staff who come mostly from out of state are unwilling to return from their hometowns. We are already facing a crisis to get workers to the store and now these time restrictions have added to our concerns, âsaid Nitesh Chopada, secretary of the Laxmi road Ganpati chowk traders association.
Those who run stores in malls suffer heavy losses. They were only allowed to reopen at 50% of their capacity and had to close after two weeks.
Fatehchand Ranka, President of the Federation of Trade Associations of Pune (FTAP) said: âWe strongly oppose the decision by the state government to move Pune district to level 3 and reduce the working hours. business. The rise in Covid cases is still blamed on store owners and traders. We have always supported all government decisions, but now the state should immediately change orders and allow us to keep stores open until 8 p.m. ”