After more than a year into the Movement Control Order (MCO), these restriction imposed on the community has certainly affected the people, as well as businesses. During the lockdown, business activities had been put to a halt and without a source of income, people are biting into their savings to survive the pandemic.
According to Melaka Hari Ini, many businesses along the Jonker Street in Melaka had shut their doors for good. At the same time, these shops at Jalan Hang Jebat have put up For Sale/ Rent banners in search of new business owners to take over.
In an interview with Melaka State Executive Council Member, Datuk Gan Tian Loo, he said that 95% of the shops at at Jonker Street and those around it have been closed for more than 8 months.
He added that out of the 100 local shops, only 5% of them are still holding on and operating as usual. Despite that, there are also struggling to keep afloat. He said that it is a matter of time before all these businesses will have to shut down permanently.
“The area is as good as dead, the businesses tried organising giveaways but there are nobody on the streets, because this area is a tourist area and most tourists are concentrated in the area.”
“I did a survey last month and now only 5% of the business remain operating, out of the total 100 stores.”
“Those who remained open in the tourist spot are franchises such as Family Mart and 7 Eleven. Meanwhile, small local businesses such as Watson and Caring have shut down too due to the lack of foot traffic.”
“As a result, more than 20 shops have put up ‘banners’ to search for new tenants but there are still nobody who is willing to rent at the place as of now.” he said to Melaka Hari Ini.
In addition, Tian Loo said that they had held a meeting with the Jonker Walk Hawkers and Traders Association and several shop operators in the area to find out the root cause of the problem.
Most of the businesses then complained that the rental at the area was high and this made them unable to continue their business.
Tian Loo added that he had requested the government to reduce the assessment tax rate for the building owners to reduce their burden. He explains that although some landlords have reduced the rental rate by up to 30%, it is still not enough to reduce the business owner’s burden.
Nonetheless, with the interstate travel and tourism industry banned during this MCO, the once tourist hotspot has transformed into a ghost town with little to no visitors.
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