By Yankuba Jallow
The outbreak of Coronavirus came along with unexpected problems and to some extent caused the paralysis of some businesses. Businesses were closed twice this year by the Gambia Government as a measure to eradicate the Coronavirus from the face of the country. The emergency regulations forced several businesses to close.
Isatou Conteh, who operates a saloon at her family home, said business is slow.
“There are no night clubbing, no Sunday beach and no parties because the Government has banned all social gatherings. This has serious impact on my saloon business,” she said.
Conteh’s Saloon does hair braiding, face make-up and nail fixing among others.
The young entrepreneur added: “I am not paying rent, but I am not also earning money from my Saloon. Things are very hard on me.”
Mamadou Barry has a barbing saloon at Churchill Town and he has an apprentice he is training. Barry said he pays rent for both his shop and room in addition to his daily expenses.
“The pandemic came along with hardship. Business is not going fine for me. I come to the shop and at times go home with nothing,” he said.
He said he is a family man and that he is the breadwinner of his whole family.
“I live with my mother and family. I am now eating the little I have saved. I am not earning anything as of now,” Barry said.
Lamin Sanyang said his saloon business was not doing well before the coming of the pandemic but when it came, it worsens everything for him.
“The pandemic has brought me a lot of hardship. I am here but I am not sure whether I will be able to make a dalasi today. You don’t see customers now because they are also faced with the same economic hardship that the pandemic brought us,” he said
Alpha Ebrima Jallow said: “COVID-19 is true, but businesses should be allowed to operate. We have been struggling all these months, but the situation now is too difficult on us.”
He added: “We should be allowed to operate freely. We have families to feed and our expenses are huge.”
Amadou Juma Jallow said they have always adhered to the Gambia Government Regulations, adding if the Regulations remained with no changes; it will have a devastating consequence on them and their families.
All the interviewees have two demands which are for the Government to allow them to work the whole day or provide their businesses with financial support to cover up for their losses.