Hour after hour in the night, the imagination of Chander Shekhar rushed forward into the dawn. Over three months had gone by before the coronavirus forced him to close down his business — a shop jammed with vibrantly colored saris, once thronged with South Asian immigrant shoppers on a block in New York’s Jackson Heights neighborhood. Today, at last, merchants were able to open their doors again. Small businesses are suffering during this era.
Yet they returned to an area where COVID-19 had destroyed hundreds, leaving empty streets and dust-gathering storefronts. Overnight Shekhar had been woken nine times by the uncertainty of reopening.
“There is an unseen threat that no one can see,” said Shekhar, who is worried at his Shopno Fashion shop about the $6,000 monthly rent. “I’ve been working hard for this for over 20 years, and then I’ve got my shop. Leaving it isn’t easy.
The cost of the pandemic leaves Shekhar suspicious of complaining, and he realizes he’s not alone. Small companies that help create and maintain communities suffer as markets around the world restart. The risk is high: The U.N. It estimates that companies with fewer than 250 employees account for two thirds of the world ‘s employment.
Small businesses suffer
Many realize reopening is just the beginning. Yet it’s a critical achievement, a tribute to their determination, ingenuity and a touch of desperation. It’s about knowing what fits, because there is no market as normal anymore.
Small businesses around the world are struggling for survival in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic effects. Whether they do it will affect not only local economies but community fabric. Associated Press writers share their stories in the “Small Business Struggles” series.
Jane Howe’s never seen the need for a website like many other small businesses in 15 years as a London bookseller.
Shoppers packed the tidy Broadway Bookshop on weekends, drawn also by custom service from the store.
“I imagine it’s like a dining table and I put it all out, these wonderful meals for people to come to eat,” Howe said. “It’ll be very hard to replace digitally.”
The coronavirus also had not left a lot of choice.