EXTEND TRADING HOURS: Foreigners trading longer, reaping big
Burundian and Tanzanian nationals running small-scale businesses in Lilongwe have attested to increases in profits in their various enterprises owing to extension of trading hours.
Those running businesses in residential places such as Area 49 and 50 stressed that extending trading hours gives room to more trading activity which, if properly managed, would translate into significant growth of the country’s economy.
A Burundian national, Innocent Nduwayi, who runs a grocery shop at Ng’oma in Area 50, said his business was not as profitable when he used to close his shop at 6pm when he had just relocated to the area.
“When I moved to this place, I feared for my security, being a foreigner. So, I used to open at around eight in the morning and close between five and six in the evening. The sales were not that good, but now that I am settled here, I open my shop between 5:30am and six o’clock in the morning and close between 10 and 11 in the evening depending on the frequency of the customers,” Nduwayi said.
He went on to say that his business has tremendously grown in recent months as many of the people in the location like to do their grocery shopping early in the morning and late at night.
Another Burundi national operating a wholesale in the same vicinity, who opted for anonymity, highlighted that Malawi’s economy would significantly grow if traders were operating around the clock.
He stressed that only if officials would tighten security, then people will be free to go to a shop at any time of the day.
Eric Ibrahim, a Tanzanian operating a hawker in Area 49 Dubai, agreed with his colleagues that operating 24 hours would boost businesses.
He pointed out that, at times, residents around his shop would knock on his door at night when they are in dire need of groceries or other important household items which was an indication of the need for 24-hour service shops.