KOCHI: Rising financial loss due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has forced over 8,000 traders to shut down their businesses permanently in the state. According to Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES, the industry has incurred whopping losses to the tune of `600 crore in the past few months due to spoilage of limited shelf-life products, including cosmetics and other fast-moving essential goods.
“We are in the process of collecting information on the trade establishments that were permanently shut down in the state following the pandemic outbreak. Containment zones and lockdown restrictions have made life impossible for traders and families depending on this business.
As per our estimates, a minimum of 8,000 traders have shut down their businesses permanently and the figures may go up once we finish the data collection,” said KVVES state general secretary E S Biju. He added that the cosmetic business was one of the worst-hit.However, the festival season has prompted the traders to defy odds and find ways to thrive amid the pandemic and tackle the unprecedented financial loss they suffered during the lockdown.
Online customer registration
Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi has introduced a mobile application - Covid e-book - to make customer registration online. Currently, the consumers or the staff enter the details physically. According to the samithi, there are also complaints from the part of consumers regarding the safety of the details they share.
“The application is aimed to make things easy. Currently, we have to assign staff exclusively for entering the details of consumers, which is not feasible. Also, our primary aim is to make everything contactless. We are giving this application free of cost to every trader. Each shop will be able to generate a QR code that would be displayed in front of the shop.
The consumers can easily scan the code and enter their name, mobile number, and time of arrival. This makes sharing details with the officials concerned a hassle-free process. We have already discussed this with the police,” said Biju.However, only android mobile users will be able to use the online platform. “Others can give the details manually,” he added.