The prolonged lockdown and prohibitory orders following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has shocked many beyond their imagination. However, the unprecedented move of imposing lockdown and prohibitory orders for containing virus surge has hit hard the businesses of all shapes and sizes across the nation. The businessmen, both small and big, have indeed found it quite hard to negotiate with this grim situation. Some small-time business persons, who have been battling hard to sustain their means of livelihood, have adapted to the calamitous situation to remain in the business while many of their peers have given up their profession.
"Adapt or starve" appears to be the mantra of many of the small business operators that include salon-operating barbers, vehicle mechanics, green grocery and grocery operators and a few others. As the lockdown has started biting into their businesses, they have adopted an inventive way to provide services to their customers: they have been visiting the houses of their customers to provide services and, in return, get service fees and returns, which they would not have received sitting back at their houses after lockdown has shut down their businesses. After the imposition of prohibitory orders, barbers and vehicle mechanics have found it quite difficult to run their businesses as their work does not fall under the category of essential services. Likewise, the grocers too have witnessed their income dip sharply owing to uncertainty caused by the government's restrictive orders.
Nowadays, many of them have been visiting the houses of their customers on call to provide their services and then receive their fees and prices of goods delivered, which has helped keep their business afloat in this highly challenging period. For a barber or a vehicle mechanic, it is quite unlikely to provide services by visiting the houses during normal times. They have their salons or garage at fixed locations where customers would usually visit to avail their services. The home delivery of services and goods in the capital city and other parts of the country is the domain of fast food outlets and e-commerce business, but not of barbers and mechanics. However, for these small business operators, the desperate situation has called for new ways to keep their means of sustenance afloat.
Adapting to new way for sustaining livelihoods is indeed a better move on the part of all kinds of small-time businesspersons. It will help them remain in the business. There is no doubt the business and means of livelihood of these small timers will rebound once the situation improves. To improve the situation, the government is doing all it can to curb the virus infection through various measures. The current situation will certainly get better sooner or later. The small scale businessmen should keep their business alive by adapting to the new situation by giving utmost care not to violate the COVID-19 safety norms. The people and government authority need to extend their helping hand to these small business operators and owners in this grim hour so that they would not lose their means of livelihood.