Small businesses suffer losses as lockdown continues

City COVID-19

Small businesses in Bengaluru are bearing the economic brunt of the lockdown.

By Abhinav Kumar

Small businesses in Bengaluru are paying a heavy price as the lockdown due to the Coronavirus has stopped all consumer activity.

Sonu Kumar who work in a saloon in Kumbalgodu complained that it was very difficult for his family to survive in these conditions.“This lockdown has cost me everything, I do not have much savings and this work does not pay me a fixed monthly salary.”

The pay in the unorganised sector  is very low and there are no paid leaves, provident fund schemes, holidays and medical benefits for the employees. There is no job security as in the case of no work, the employee may be asked to leave at any time. It is the employer who decides the rules and regulations of workplace.

Waqar Ahmed, an owner of a Chinese fast-food joint in Kumbalgodu, said, “The situation is very bad for small businessmen like us. I do not have enough money to go home. I am trapped in this lockdown in this shop . My family is facing a lot of problems without me in Jharkhand. I cannot send them money as I don’t have much. ”    

closed shops

Dhruva Yadav, a shop owner said, “All wholesale markets are closed and we cannot get items from the market due to the lockdown.”

Many trade unions have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding direct cash transfer to the bank accounts of workers from the unorganised sector.

Rajendra .B Asst. director of Micro, Small and  Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Institute, Bangalore said “Government is taking all the necessary steps that need to be taken. Small scale businessmen should not panic in this situation. We have to fight this pandemic together .”

Abhishek Singh,  State Head of the NGO, Transforming Rural India Foundation, explained the need to take care of the unorganised sector. “ The government should take care of the unorganised sector because they play big role in the growth of our GDP.If the unorganised sector collapses, then it will affect a large chunk of India’s population. ”


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