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Business News of Saturday, 12 January 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Businesses Slow Down

Economic activities in the country have plummeted after the Yuletide, reports from the regional capitals indicate.

Traders and market women in Ho have complained about the slow pace of business after the festivities.

In an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE onWednesday, the traders said economic activities had declined after Christmas.

“Most of the people who came to the market during Christmas came for window-shopping,” Sammy Agudu, a store keeper said. The traders planned to break even during the New Year.

Others observed that activities would improve for them to recoup their investment and loans contracted from banks, relations and partners.

Dada Enyo, a yam seller, noted that three tubers of yam, which prior to the Christmas cost GH¢7.00, was now selling at GH¢10.00. Tomatoes are being sold for GH1.00.

The prices of many food items like beans, gari, pepper, corn dough have been increased.

The prices of milk, sugar, biscuits, drinks, detergents among others have been maintained.

Shop owners noted that as a result of the reopening of schools, sales had increased.

That notwithstanding, many shop owners told this paper that they were expecting some increment in the prices of goods by the end of the month.

Prices have been stable because we are still selling old stock. The distributors hinted us of some increases in the coming days, they noted.

From Cape Coast, Sarah Owusu-Darlington reports that traders in the metropolis are unhappy with the low patronage of their products after Christmas.

A dealer in second-hand bags around the Ministries, Richard Benson, attributed the low sales to the harsh economic situation in the country.

Mr Benson noted that although sales normally increase whenever schools re-open, the situation had worsened this year.

“I came around 7: am, and only one bag has been bought as at 1:30 pm” he added.

A cloth seller at Amissaekyir, Mame Esi Tawiah, who claims to have secured a loan to do business, complained of low sales.

“My bankers will never think people are not buying the products and will collect the money weekly as it is expected and will even send me to court if I default so I am praying that things will change for the better,” she said

A well-known newspaper vendor, Mr Biney said business has been very bad as compared to previous years.

He added that some people, who buy six or more papers, were buying two per a day currently.

Eric Bawah reports that a cross-section of the traders revealed that they could not sell their wares as expected in Techiman.

Buyers from the nooks and crannies of the country and other West Africa countries purchase products at the maize market, but the whole place looked deserted when the paper got there.

A 40-year-old trader from Burkina Faso, Madam Fatou Seidu, contrasted the price of a bag of maize at the Techiman market, which sold at GH¢65, to the prevailing prices in Burkina Faso.

The transport fare is high and I could lose. I am operating with a bank loan and as such I would be in trouble if I buy at the Techiman market, she said.

At the yam market where business was booming in the run-up to the general elections, sellers were seen loitering around.

Maame Ama Serwaa, a yam seller, who has been in the business for the past 25 years, told this paper that they recorded the worst sales this Christmas.

Techiman and its environs are well known for the production of Gari and traders from the West Africa sub-region patronize the items in their numbers.

When CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE visited the place, several people were loading bags of Gari into foreign trucks.

A Malian gari trader, who spoke to this reporterthrough an interpreter, said Gari is on high demand in Mali because the war there had led to shortage of staple food like rice.

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