THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 600 to 700 businesses that solely depended on the clientele from Technopark reel under severe crisis. Several of them have shut shop or are on the brink of doing so. People who had extended their houses to rent out rooms or flats are struggling to pay back loans
Work from Home’ has been successful for many IT firms operating from Technopark, which employs around 60,000 techies, but the impact of this during the pandemic has been huge for many other business establishments, street traders and real estate agents who have been solely dependent on the IT park. Around 600 to 700 business establishments in close proximity to the park continue to reel under severe financial crisis and many feel hopeless because the pandemic threat continues to loom large. The ongoing road widening work at Kazhakoottam adds to the woes of the traders.
The construction sector has come to a grinding halt and thousands who earned a livelihood from the local business in Kazhakoottam area, which is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the capital, have lost their jobs. Many trade establishments have downed their shutters owing to the financial crisis. Shine A Sathar, Kazhakoottam unit president of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), said thousands of people lost their jobs because of the lockdown and closure of the IT park following the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. He said traders are unable tosupport their employees because of low revenue and lockdown. The traders were forced to fire employees because of low or no revenue.
“The hotel industry is the worst affected and the business has come down to bare minimum. I run a small juice shop and now I am getting only less than 10 per cent of the earlier business. I pay Rs 30,000 as rent every month and, in addition to this, I have to pay my employees.
Because of other liabilities, I cannot shut my shop. Many of the hotels used to have 40 to 50 employees and now many are running their business with five to 10 employees. According to our estimates, around 5,000 people might have lost their jobs in the sector. A trader has to pay around Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for 200 to 300-sq-ft commercial space. The situation is really grim and we all have to pay the rent whether we do business or not,” said Shine.