Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 4
In most of the parts of the city where shops and businesses have been allowed to open only twice a week, owners have been hit hard economically. Gagandeep Kaur, owner of the Arshi Creations in the Mall Mandi area, a ladies’ cloth showroom and a boutique, said, “Practically, we are working only eight days a month. We are not even allowed to let our tailors work.”
She said she had taken a loan to survive the economic crisis and to pay salaries to the staff. “We have to pay to sustain our employees. If we do not pay for the entire month, tailors would start working somewhere else. Finding a good tailor and retaining him is the key to the business in our industry.”
Talking about the good old days, she said, “Apart from local clients, we would often get orders of up to 150 stitched suits from Canada and Australia. Now, no such orders are coming.” She said even locally, the customers are more concerned with daily needs.
“When no marriage parties, events, celebrations and get-togethers are allowed, why women would buy new clothes,” said Gagandeep, who had started the business 15 years ago. She added that only customers left presently are working women who need summer clothes. She added that sales have gone down drastically and losses are mounting up. “This is the hardest phase of my last 15 years. I was not worried when I had started the business from the scratch. But now I am, as I cannot do anything except wait for normalcy to return,” she said.
The area from where she operates has shops marked as A, B and C. With only one category of out of the three allowed to open on a particular day, the shops have to remain closed for two days after operating for one day. Kaur added that even as the government has allowed movement of public during day, residents are still apprehensive and are preferring to stay at home.
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