By Phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU: At a time when the Nepal government had loose down lockdown most of the Nepalese citizens have started to re-open their business around Kathmandu valley. Businesses including Bakery Shop, Handicraft, Art Gallery, Fancy shops, stationary, restaurants, and money exchange, and so on.
As the Government of Nepal had announced a nationwide lockdown from March 23, 2020 (Chaitra 11, 2076), to fight the global spread of COVID-19 which have been declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result of this, the people of Nepal had ready to go through the laborious time and getting panic about their works.
According to Sunil Lama, owner of the Peace Money Exchange who has been running his business for more than eighteen years said that now the business is zero in the Thamel area. Although the government has loosened lockdown, there is no increment in the business. Before when it was normal, the business income was good but now I’m going through laborious time.
He added, “Now it is a very tough time for me to pay the shop’s rent and to survive from this business. Before, Thamel is used to be full of visitors as it is a tourism area. Whereas now Thamel is empty, only a few locals are being seen. Although, I have opened my business by maintaining social distancing and putting sanitizer for customers the business is not doing good.”
Similarly, the owner of the Buddha Art Gallery Sobhit Balami said, “For four years we have been running our art gallery. But the COVID-19 epidemic has affected different sectors, especially tourism at Thamel.” Since lockdown in the country, it’s just been days that we have started our business. We have opened our business but there are no customers. As for my concern even if the government opens the lockdown, it won’t be beneficial for us. It may result in an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Before the pandemic, our business was running well but now the business has declined. So, we are just opening our shop with the hope that our old customers will reach out to us whereas now 25-30 Thanka art shops have been shut-down said, Balami.
Since 2053 I have been running my business at Thamel said Pradhunna K.C owner of Art House. “Before pandemic, I had four shops but recently I had to close one of my shops due to lockdown. Many shopkeepers around Thamel are facing the problems of paying rent. For this reason, they are compelled to leave the shop.” said K.C.
Likewise, the owner of G-cafe, Boudha, Kathmandu, Vishwa Pratap Maskey said, “In this pandemic, period re-opened our cafe by maintaining social distancing, facilitating sanitizers and using the take-away system for convenience and safety.” He added, “Before lockdown, we had altogether 42 staff working here but as I’m concerned about both my staff and customer’s health condition only twenty staffs are working here who are accommodated here since the lockdown.”
He said, “Before we used to have 60% of customers whereas now it has declined to 30%. In the beginning, 3-4 bottles of sanitizers were used by the customers but now the use of sanitizers has decreased. On the contrary, the ordering rate has increased in comprising to before.
According to Hari Khatiwada, owner of GOODWILL D-Shop situated at Boudha, Kathmandu said, “We have maintained social distancing and keep sanitizer in the shop through the number of visitors have declined after lockdown for that it is very tough to run the business.”
With this, the numbers of business restaurants, Jewelry, Money Exchange, Art gallery, Fancy shops, Handicrafts have been started reopening in the different parts of the Kathmandu valley after the government had lost down the lockdown.
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