CoronaVirusEnglishاتاواکاناداویروس کرونا

Financial pressure on immigrant’s businesses

Titre Mag: Coronavirus pandemic has affected many people’s lifestyles. People are less likely to be present in public spaces, and if they do, they will keep their distance from each other in order to prevent the spreading of the virus. Many stores and services have been closed due to the outbreak of the disease, and many people have lost their jobs. Meanwhile, grocery stores, which are among the essential services, are still operating and trying to adapt their business to the new conditions.

Iranian business owners in Ottawa have also adopted new methods to continue their services. Arya Food Market is one of these businesses. In an interview with Titre online magazine Mohsen Mohammadi, the manager of this store said: “In the current situation, we use three methods to provide services to customers. Customers can use the door-to-door delivery services, or they can pick up their order after it is prepared at the store.” He also announced that it is possible to do shopping in person in this store from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Arya Food Market, Ottawat

Mohammadi added that they have also faced economic problems due to reduction in the number of customers, but given that the store is still operating and has not been closed, it is not possible to use government financial assistance.

Restaurants, however, are at the heart of the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. There are several restaurants in the Canadian capital that are opened and managed by Iranians. Persis Grill Restaurant, managed by Kourosh Zabihi, is an example of this type of businesses which is trying to adapt to the current situation. “These days, the number of customers has decreased and that’s why a lot of the items on the menu are not being offered right now” said Zabihi in an interview with Titre online magazine. “We had to lay off all 18 employees working at the restaurant and currently only the owner of the restaurant continues to work.”

Persis Grill Restaurant

He added: “The service is currently in the form of take-out from 12 to 8 pm and the door to door delivery services are provided by Uber. Customers can register their order online or by phone and then come to the restaurant for pick up and if requested, it will be sent to them by Uber. ”

Zabihi also referred to government financial assistance in the current situation: “The government has donated $40,000 to us, which is spent on suppliers and rentals. Fortunately, the restaurant owner receives 25 percent of the rent which is a huge help for us.”

On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The outbreak began in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China. Like SARS and MERS-CoV, the newly detected coronavirus has a zoonotic source, however, human to human transmission has been confirmed. On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 viral disease a pandemic.

In January 25, 2020, a man in his 50s who arrived in Toronto from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, becomes the first “presumptive” case of the new coronavirus in Canada. After him, the disease quickly became epidemic in Canada, which led the government to order the closure of the country’s borders on March 18, 2020. As of April 24, 43888 people in Canada have been infected with the virus, of which 2,302 have died.

These days Coronavirus pandemic has affected the economy around the world, and in particular has complicated the situation for small businesses. Many people working in these fields have lost their jobs or are retaining their businesses at great cost. It seems that up to now, financial assistance of federal and provincial government has not been able to support many businesses.

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