Looking forward to a better future

Syazwani believes demand for baking supplies will go up as social events are allowed under the endemic phase of Covid-19.

MICROENTERPRISES in Johor Baru are hoping that business will start to improve as Malaysia is now in the endemic phase of Covid-19.

Ho Chuan Watch proprietor Peter Han said business was slow when the shop resumed operations on Aug 23, under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

“I’m optimistic the situation will get better as Johor is now under Phase Three of the NRP,’’ he said.

Han said the most important thing for a microbusiness like his was to stay afloat following uncertainties since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.

“It has been really bad for the past 20 months or so with various movement control orders in place. Hopefully, we are not going to face another round of restrictions,” he said.

Han said 70% of the shop’s business came from walk-in customers and 30% from online, catering for customers from other parts of the country as well as international buyers.

“Most of our foreign buyers are Americans looking for limited and special edition watches for the Asian market,’’ he said.

He added that the company was now in the midst of entering the China market as it has received enquiries from buyers there looking for genuine watches.

Han is optimistic that his watch business will improve under Phase Three of the NRP.Han is optimistic that his watch business will improve under Phase Three of the NRP.

He said the majority of Malaysians were still interested in watches despite having a clock function in their smartphones.

Baking supplies shop The Ingredients store assistant Syazwani Abdullah said the outlet remained open during the MCO earlier this year.

“The shop is categorised as essential services as we sell food products,’’ she said.

However, Syazwani said despite operating as usual, business was rather slow as many people chose to stay indoors instead of going out as not many economic activities were allowed to operate then.

She hoped business would eventually improve as weddings and events were now allowed under the endemic phase of Covid-19 as well as interstate travel.

“Demand for baking ingredients for engagement, wedding and birthday cakes is likely to go up,’’ said Syazwani, adding that upcoming festivities such as Deepavali would also boost sales.

Kahseng Electrical Services store manager Jenny Chin said she was glad to be able to operate again on Sept 1, after a three-month closure.

“Actually, we were allowed to open on Aug 23, under Phase One of the NRP, but decided to postpone the date until all staff were fully vaccinated,” she said.

Chin said in-store sales was slightly slow since business resumed but demand for servicing and repair was good.

She said its two technicians were busy servicing and cleaning air-conditioners at homes and offices after a three-month hiatus.

They also made home visits to instal television antennas and lights as well as rewiring and replacing electrical power points, she added.

“We expect business will pick up for Deepavali and Christmas as household electrical appliance manufacturers usually hold festive promotions,’’ she added.

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