TRADERS in Penang are encouraged to study ways to boost their businesses and be resilient.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that business was rather slow on the first day of operation for some traders.
“I visited a few places this morning to observe and monitor the situation in Penang. I visited IKEA in Batu Kawan, Campbell Street and now I am in Gurney Drive.
“I understand that business is rather slow. Shoppers need to adapt to the new normal and so do the traders.
“Traders need to take this opportunity to study ways to grow their businesses,” Chow told a press conference at Gurney Paragon Mall today.
Chow said that IKEA in Batu Kawan tapped on its online platform to grow its business.
“It is time to discover new means to manage through this period of economic uncertainty.
“However, let us not lose our focus in combatting the Covid-19.
“We do not want to see an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases as we rebuild our economy.
“Continue to practise social distancing and observe personal hygiene during this trying period,” he said.
Chow also said that the state would focus on promoting domestic tourism.
“The tourism sector is the most affected sector in the state. It is the first to be affected and the last to recover.
“Visitors are afraid to travel even after the movement control order (MCO),” Chow replied a journalist. The journalist said that trishaw peddlers were affected because of the lack of visitors.
Chow said the state was also planning to offer incentives to boost the tourism sector.
Penang Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee Chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Wai, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and MBPP councillor Connie Tan also joined the inspection in Gurney Drive.
They visited Gurney Paragon Mall, G Hotel and Gurney Plaza.
The two malls and a hotel practised the safety measures required such as temperature screening, sanitising, and maintain social distancing.
Over at Campbell Street, Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said the traders were ready to reopen and he hoped that they would continue to practise self-discipline and social discipline.
Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi said most traders followed the regulations set by the authorities.
Chow said the traders were still cautious.
“It will take some time for us to recover the economy,” he added.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi and Alvie Cheng
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis