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Low patronage hits books & stationery dealers as most schools remain shut due to COVID-19

Books and Stationery dealers have lamented on how COVID-19 has badly affected their business since the school was shut down.

According to them, the bulk sale of books and stationery is mostly seasonal, because such materials are largely patronized in bulk when schools reopen or are in session but this year, they have recorded the lowest sell of products all thanks to COVID-19.

Speaking to some bookshop operators in Accra, they noted that, their problems started long before the coming pandemic due to other local factors and so they will not particularly attribute everything COVID-19.

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“There came a time where they [government], said they were changing the curriculum and here lies the case where the change of curriculum came without books. And so, another problem emerged where the demand for the books was created, but whenever the people come, they don’t get the books. Our sales gradually began to drop,” they said.

The Sales Executive of Top Man Books Seth Addo said, they were “anticipating that government will bring its own books to complement the change of curriculum since last academic year, but that didn’t happen. The publishers also tried to bring some books but they were not backed by the government. They gave reasons that, it was not up to date and so we should wait but we’ve been waiting until now.”

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However, owners of these bookshops say they have applied for government’s GHS 1billion Coronavirus Alleviation Program Support Scheme, which seeks to assist SMEs affected by the pandemic to stay in business.

But according to them, they’re concerned about how long it is taking for the loan to be disbursed.

“We have applied but nothing has come yet, so we are looking forward to the government to start disbursing them,” they added.

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Aside from food vendors and others affected by this continuous closure, one group that has been hit is those who are into the sale of books and stationery.

By Amos Ekow Coffie | talksafrica.com

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