Running business responsibly

Lim (left) explaining the menu of a digital camera to a customer outside his shop in Jalan Burma. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

FANCY gadgets for cars are now back on the shelves at a workshop in Jalan Kelawai, Penang, but its owner remains half-hearted about having walk-in customers although it is now allowed to open to those fully vaccinated.

Pink Garage operation manager Kelvin Lee, who runs a business providing tyre and auto services besides accessory installation, said his focus would remain on fixing problems that are essential.

“Although we are now allowed to open up the accessory section, I still prefer my customers to make appointments and specify their needs for us to fix them directly.

“It takes extra work to calculate their vaccination completion dates through their MySejahtera and being fully vaccinated is not Covid-19 proof.

“Having customers crowding at the shop to browse for items can be a potential risk, especially in view of the high number of Covid-19 cases around.

“If they come in with a major problem that affects their car’s roadworthiness, we will fix it to enable it to keep moving, that’s all,” he said.

Lee, who operates three workshops in the area, urged other businesses to operate responsibly although many sectors were now allowed to open for customers who have completed their vaccination.

“Due to the high number of cases within the community, many sectors are still not allowed to resume.

“While we are given leniency, we need to be responsible to ensure Covid-19 does not spread further.

A worker repairing a headlamp at Pink Garage Tyre & Auto Repairs in Kelawai Road, Penang.A worker repairing a headlamp at Pink Garage Tyre & Auto Repairs in Kelawai Road, Penang.

“Penang is currently in Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan. We need to move forward instead of being stuck here forever,” said Lee.

Similarly, at a camera shop in Jalan Burma that is now allowed to open, business is focused on e-commerce sales with a change in shopping trend among consumers.

Its doors are only open for customers to pick up their purchased products and for basic enquiry, but not for actual testing of products.

Promax Digital Concept owner Max Lim said although his business has now suffered more than half compared to pre-pandemic times, online consumers were on the rise to keep it afloat.

“Thanks to the abundance of information and reviews on the Internet, most customers can decide to buy without the need to touch actual products.

“The new norm of shopping for technology has evolved and we are adapting by providing customers with support via video or social media support.

“They do not need to be present at the shop,” he said.

Lim said hindering customers by placing a table at the entrance helped to keep the place safer for his employees, some of whom have yet to receive their full vaccination.

“If customers were to come in, we need to ensure that everything they came in contact with is sanitised.

“Electronic products are fragile and are not suitable to be cleaned often in such a way,” he said.

On Monday, the National Security Council announced 19 more business sectors allowed to reopen for customers who are fully vaccinated.

Among them are photography and photography services, used items, florist and nurseries, handicrafts and souvenirs, antique, toys, carpet, creative content and creative industry equipment, outdoor equipment including camping, fishing and others, cosmetic and skincare, tobacco, household and kitchen appliances, furniture, sports equipment, car accessories, car dealership, markets and pasar tani, clothing and fashion, and jewellery.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccines, and 28 days after being jabbed with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or CanSino vaccines.

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