The lockdown has been lifted, and there is the hustle and bustle in the city as people are on roads to buy groceries and other essential items. But a look behind this seemingly busy day shows that not all is well. One can find ‘To-let’ boards hanging in many major commercial areas. Places that had a huge number of customers and who had business throughout the day have shut shop due to the pandemic.
Unable to sustain their business for two long years of the pandemic, many have gone out of business. With customers barely trickling in from time to time, managing and maintaining their shops had become a burden to many. The plight of small and medium businesses has been worse. With barely a handful of customers turning up and with regular lockdowns, they could not make both ends meet. So, many such shops have decided to shut down.
A popular drive-in near Langar Houz used to have at least 12-15 eateries and was popular with the local crowd. Today, it stands in rubble as the owner decided to demolish the drive-in. Another cafe, which was considered to be posh in the Golconda area, also shut shop recently. Though it did open post lockdown, the customers were just about a handful, and the owners decided to close down permanently.
Then there are apparel stores that sell wedding and hi-end dresses. These two have had to shut shop as customers no longer want to spend huge amounts on clothes. Also, people are preferring low-key weddings. Another problem is many taking to wearing natural fabrics. So, elaborate wedding dresses and fancy gowns are less in demand these days, leading to businesses winding up.
Since many of them cannot afford to post on yellow pages or go online, small bangle shop owners, tailors, carpenters, electricians have put up their numbers so that people can avail their services from home. Today, they take orders over the phone and WFH.