Firms’ revenue fall: Official

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By PETER ESILA
MANY businesses have seen their sales revenue fall by between 30 and 50 per cent as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, according to the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chamber president Rio Fiocco said businesses in Port Moresby had adapted to the new normal of mandatory masks and the Covid-19 preventative measures.
“Businesses have also been affected as there are no public transport vehicles running from Central,” he said.
He said workers living in Central and travelling daily to work in Port Moresby were unable to come to work.
“And bookmakers can only operate from Wednesday to Saturday with a maximum of 50 patrons who must be wearing masks,” he said.
“Operating only four days a week with reduced customers is really impacting on their profitability. Some businesses such as nightclubs have been forced to close for months now.
“Most businesses have seen their sales revenue slump by between 30 and 50 per cent on average, except for supermarkets whose sales have remained steady as people still need to eat.
“Discretionary spending at restaurants has fallen significantly. This is clearly noticeable when you walk by the restaurants at Vision City and at Harbourside.”
Buses are expected to resume services in Port Moresby today after the 14-day lockdown.
Facemasks are now mandatory in shops and public places.
“Our members have adapted to the niupela pasin (new normal) with all shops and offices now having adopted a policy of no-mask no-entry,” he said.
“Also a lot of our members are now providing transport to get their staff to and from work at an added cost to the business.”
He said some shops and banks were closing early to allow their workers to reach home before the 10pm curfew.

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