Gambia Local Businesses are collapsing due to COVID-19


By Makutu Manneh

Local business owners in the Gambia are facing setbacks in their businesses since coronavirus entered the country.

They complained that they were not earning profit anymore and that all they could think of was getting ends meet.

The traders also said business was very slow lately. And that they were no more seeing customers.

They said they want the government to take into consideration their plight when making decisions in order to save their businesses.

“We are not blaming the government for the disease since it concerns everyone,” said Sanku Jaiteh a textile seller.

Sanku 65, said he has 24 heads to feed each day. He said everyday his textile creditors are after him to pay the money owed them, but that he cannot pay those monies if he is not earning any profit. Mr. Jaiteh said he is selling to feed his family and that it has become difficult for him to pay for the shop’s rent.

Musa Baldeh sells second hand materials at the Serrekunda Market. He said most of his items are brought by foreigners, but that since the discovery of COVID-19 his business has collapsed.

“Sometimes I sat for three days without a single customer buying anything from me and it is through this business I feed my Family,” he said.

Mr. Baldeh said if he was making 100% out of his business, now he is making only 40%. Like other vendors, he also expressed that he is only selling to meet the family’s daily needs now.

Technicians and money exchange dealers at the black market in Serrkunda also complained the government’s directive for them to open their shops by 2pm is affecting their businesses because they are not selling any of their merchandise. They said they prefer opening from morning to 2pm to the other way round.