PETALING JAYA (Aug 9): The once bustling Jonker Street in Melaka is is succumbing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hampered by the prolonged lockdown and travel restrictions, more than 20 businesses have ceased operations permanently, reported Melaka Hari Ini.
The tourist-centred street in the historical cty is now like a ghost town with little to no people. Many business owners have stopped operation due to the lockdown restrictions and many shops have put up “For rent/for sale” banners, searching for tenants or buyers.
The report, citing Jonker Walk management committee deputy chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo, said 95% of the stores within the street have been closed since January 2021.
Out of 100 shops, only 5% of them are open for business, struggling to stay afloat. These shops include convenience store franchises like FamilyMart and 7-Eleven. However, Watsons and Caring pharmacies have closed down.
Gan added that the high rental is the main reason the business owners choose to shut down their business. Although some of the landlords are willing to give a discount on the rent, it is still insufficient to cover their expenses due to the extended lockdown.
Looking at the current challenging conditions, he urged the government to decrease the rate of assessment tax to help alleviate the local business owners' burdens.
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