Lockdown Is Putting A Strain On Local Businesses
Local businesses all over the country who need daily interaction with Dhaka or other divisional districts to run their businesses are afraid about the fact that their business might collapse in no time. For more than one year, they are facing obstacles every time they are trying to get back on track but each time lockdown gives them a setback.
Lockdown is putting a strain on local businesses
Local enterprises are widely regarded as powerful business entities in all countries. In developing countries like Bangladesh, they are a crucial variable in all economies because they drive innovation, particularly in skill-based industries, and play a critical role in driving sustained economic development, job creation, and poverty alleviation.
But due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local entrepreneurs are struggling to overcome the challenges. It’s becoming tough to stay on track because of these consecutive lockdowns. Now they are concerned about how to repay loans because they are on the verge of losing capital.
The first lockdown started on 20th March 2020 in Bangladesh because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The first wave ended in May 2020. After that, local businesses are struggling to make up for their losses. But a second wave emerged just as the businesses were about to revert to a profit-making position.
At the beginning of this year, Covid-19 was almost in control and people became habituated with the new normal. They started working by coping up with the situation. Everyone hoped that the economy of the country would bounce back.
That’s when the new Delta variant infiltrated the bordering districts and began rapidly spreading to the adjacent districts. The government eventually imposed a new lockdown in those areas. The borders of Thakurgaon, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, and Dinajpur have closed two weeks ago. Last week, the same measure was implemented in Satkhira, Khulna, Jashore, Rajbari, Narail, and Kushtia. Public buses and other vehicles are not permitted to enter or exit these districts.
Enterprises in Jashore, the country’s southwestern trading hub with the longest border with India, have lost over Tk2,000 crore in the last year. The closing of Gaussia, the country’s biggest wholesale clothing market, situated at Bhulta beside the Dhaka-Sylhet highway just 24 kilometers from the capital, has outraged thousands of sellers and weavers.
Mango farmers in Rajshahi are also concerned about large losses because the lockdown has happened to coincide with the peak periods for the summer fruit. As people cannot travel, market traders are selling mangoes online, but online orders do not guarantee sales of more than 30% of the total produce.
Hotel-restaurant and transport sectors are also facing severe losses due to this lockdown. Though some of them are trying to stay in the business by providing ‘home delivery service. But the response is not up to the mark as the overall economy of the country is falling.
The communication breakdown has also cost five million people their jobs in the transportation industry. If this lockdown continues any longer, then it’ll be difficult for most of the local businesses to survive in the market.
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