Optimism for Karasburg small business owners after COVID-19 restrictions lifted

Some small business owners at Karasburg in the ||Kharas Region said their businesses, just like others across the country, were not spared from the effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), but that they remain hopeful for better days.

Karasburg is a town situated 200 kilometres south of Keetmanshoop in the ||Kharas Region.

In an interview with Nampa recently Felicity Isaaks, who owns a printing and photography business, said when schools closed down, she could not take pictures at the schools as she used to in the past, adding that events such as weddings were few, which resulted in her monthly income decreasing.

‘We could not print during this time as there were no events. The borders were closed so we could not print passport photos, before COVID-19 the business could make N.dollars 20 000 and that reduced to a mere N.dollars 5 000 and this forced me to cut salaries of my two employees and even cancel some business insurances,’ she said.

Sharing what the pandemic has taught her, Isaaks said;

‘It was a life lesson for me. Many of us with small businesses do not save. We just spend when we see money and we do not even plan for the unexpected change and for times like the one we find ourselves [in] now. That has to change. We need to save for the future and for the unexpected,’ she said, expressing optimism that business would pick up soon.

‘The restrictions of the movement of people affected my business as most of my customers are people from the surrounding farms. During that time, people could also not just buy on the street. They were picky about where they should buy food because of the virus, there are days that I made nothing at all,’ said Sarah Montzinger who owns a food trailer.

Montzinger, who also offers catering services, added that her catering business went down as many events were called off because of the regulations relating to the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Montzinger encouraged other small business owners at the town not to give up as many packed up and left but they should hope for better days.

Jacob Christaan, a street vendor who sells vegetables in the same area, said; ‘We had to close down. There was no income. I could not feed my family and could not pay my accounts at various places. The streets were empty as people were restricted to move. Before COVID-19, we could take home over N.dollars 250 per day but during the lockdown, it was not easy,’ he lamented.

He, however, expressed joy over the lifting of the regulations, saying the business had picked up since.

Source: Namibia Press Agency