The effects of the pandemic have been drastic and more so on businesses. Many companies established and small have suffered, closures, layoffs and redundancies have become the norm and for many businesses survival has become the year’s strategy. For those trying to stay afloat, a myriad of new challenges come with the cost of doing business among them reduced disposable income and new conditions on requirements and business operating conditions. While many were recording reduced incomes, the extra layer of precaution added extra running costs and just like individuals in our communities, businesses have had to rely on the NBCC interventions within their communities.
In Machakos, Pius Kyalo a Shujaaz Super Fan and bookshop owner was facing declines in sales as people kept away from business establishments. Schools were closed and volume of business drastically dipped; and coupled with requirements of having hand washing stations in every business, Kyalo was struggling with the challenges presented by the pandemic
A fighter, he didn’t quit, rather he set up a basic hand washing station and while this served the purpose it didn’t meet the caveats set for preventing infections via the hand washing stations. This did however change when he received the hand washing station from NBCC/Shujaaz. With a larger tank and functionally designed to address all Covid-19 cautions, this station not only served his business but members of the surrounding community. With increased foot traffic to his establishment, Kyalo diversified and opened a pool table business to supplement his incomes from the bookshop.
In Lamu, Julius Murimi’s cyber café business dipped as the students who frequent his business had dispersed with the closure of schools. To this end, his hand washing station was largely underutilized and with the resumption of schools he offered the station to his local church which also runs a school.
With higher footfall the school was better suited to house the hand washing station and this together with 3 extra taps acquired by the school went a long way in supplementing the schools diminished capacity to offer adequate hand washing facilities to its students. He thought the station would be more useful to the school. In its new location, Murimi shares the responsibility of maintaining the hand washing station with the church and the school.
In Kilifi, Said Zamani’s cyber café faced the same challenges as Murimis. The Kwale County Government had threatened to close all businesses that did not have hand washing facilities. For Said another Shujaaz Super Fan, this precautions and demands were an additional cost of business and for a moment he weighed his options on if to close down or incur extra costs.
“My decision to stay put has paid off; I added a layer of precaution by installing a hand washing station and this made my customers comfortable to visit my establishment.” From this one decision, he has been able to maintain and now his revenues and is still very keen on effecting the Covid-19 protocols as part of continuity measures for his business