Saturday, March 6, 2021

Jamshedpur economy limping back to normalcy as small businesses show resilience

Jamshedpur: After a long layoff for around three months, small businesses, shops and street vendors are trying hard to restore a semblance of normalcy to the city economy.

Although most businesses, barring a few like saloons, beauty parlours, hotels, and eateries, have opened up, the charge to restoration of normalcy is surprisingly being led by the very small businesses and street side Khomcha walas.

Big businesses, garment and shoes sellers are yet to get into their grooves. Most are empty and looking for the elusive customers. Their customers too are short of money, it seems and therefore the business is not what it used to be before the lockdown.

Roadside shop
Small shop

Most agree that business has not picked up yet, despite so many days of unlock in the state. Not even 50%, many say.

However, the street vendors have taken to their trade with a vengeance. Even small food-sellers have opened their businesses and most are giving away parcels.

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Allowing the customers to sit and assemble at any eatery is still not allowed, but small food joints and khomchawalas have started dispensing food packages. Dosa, Idli, Chow all are available easily.

It is heartening to note that most shops and businesses are voluntarily showing readiness to abide by all the safety and social distancing norms. Most shops, from sweet shops to stationery shops, do have and provide sanitisers and ensure that customers are not allowed to crowd their premises.

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Street corner shop
Street corner shop

Most of the markets in different areas of the city are now getting crowded, though not as much as before the lockdown. Every day, the number of people on the streets and markets is increasing and shops and businesses have started recovering their lost sales.

However, even if the upward trend continues, it would take at least two to three months for the city economy to return to its original shape. Big businesses have not recovered fully yet.

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Same is the case with the small businesses and shops. However, the resilience being shown by the small businesses is remarkable and it shows some promise for the coming months.

Most of the seasoned traders and businessmen feel if the Corona pandemic does not take a dramatic turn for the worse in the coming days, the economy should be back on its feet. Say, in the next two or three months. And that is a pretty optimistic view.

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