Local traditional markets and small business owners have been badly impacted by COVID-19. But the national emergency relief funding is loosening consumer purse strings a bit. Spending has been boosted.
Mike Laidman reports.
Jeju’s traditional markets, which have remained mostly dead for some months due to COVID-19, are now finally starting to see increasing resident and tourist shoppers.
The number of visitors to (동문) Dongmun Traditional Market dropped to 2,000 a day right after COVID-19 hit the nation. That number has recently grown to 5,000.
With social distancing campaigns having been relaxed and national disaster relief funds paid, consumption is slowly starting to grow.
The volume of parcel orders is growing, too. Among these orders, fish, which means that those responsible for deliveries are also stepping up their game.
According to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, sales at traditional markets in Jeju were still down 68 percent of their usual numbers last week, but were already up an astounding 27% - down only 41% from their usual levels - this week.
Sales at small businesses had dropped by 57% of their usual levels, with that drop growing to only 38% down recently.
For the first time in months, Jeju store owners and market vendors are seeing some good news, with more money slowly starting to circulate. The increased physical presence of people all around the island is a direct sign that the knockout punch that COVID-19 delivered to the local market was not just that, and now things are once again moving in a positive direction.
Mike Laidman, KCTV