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Possible restrictions on movement terrify merchants in the center of Helsinki: “This feels like a death blow” – Taloussanomat


According to hairdresser Kukka Kuparinen, the proposed movement restrictions do not eliminate the problem itself.

The government has proposed restrictions on movement to the worst epidemic areas, ie the Helsinki metropolitan area and Turku. In these areas, only necessary transactions would be allowed, ie, for example, food and fuel purchases and a visit to a pharmacy.

Hairdresser Flower Copper wonders about the government’s plans.

  • Read more: Can I service the car, visit Alko or buy clothes? 18 questions and answers about mobility restrictions

– Yes, it seems that we can keep the shops open, but we must not have customers, Kuparinen says.

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– This, of course, avoids us not having to pay any subsidies. This feels like a death knell.

The government’s proposal will first be considered by five committees and finally by Parliament. Secretary General of Parliament Maija-Leena Paavola said on Sunday Ylellethat the movement restrictions could in this case take effect no earlier than the week beginning 12 April.

According to hairdresser Kuparinen, restrictions on movement would feel fairer if they applied to all companies and activities in the same way.

“This is not just about salaries, but we have our own families and mortgages and others to take care of,” says hairdressing entrepreneur Kukka Kuparinen.­

According to Kuparinen, the number of customers at her Stadin Seita hairdresser decreased last spring. A lot has been done in the hair salon, he said, to avoid infections. Hairdressers, for example, wear masks and also give one to the customer. Surfaces are also cleaned between customers.

– I would like to know how many infections have come from hairdressers because I have not seen such statistics, Kuparinen says.

– It is incomprehensible that this is planned, because it does not eliminate the problem in any way. If the infections have spread somewhere at a house party, why not even impose a travel ban after eight in the evenings, which would apply to everyone?

– Hardly those home parties are held during the day, but the shops should be open.

The landlord of the commercial property has not met in the past during the interest rate restrictions. Kuparinen says that he used his own savings for his company already last spring.

– And this is not just about salaries, but we have our own families and mortgages and others to take care of, Kuparinen reminds.

Also the owner of Arvola, an optician working in the Forum shopping center Ilkka Arvola considers that the movement will have to be shut down if restrictions on movement come into force.

– We must probably close the business and lay off the entire staff, we have no other options, Arvola thinks.

– Turnover drops to zero.

Shopping centers set requirements for opening hours for the shops operating in them. According to Arvola, it is still unclear how the Forum will react to the closure of stores, although the law does not directly require them to close.

Optician Arvola’s shopping center Forum. Behind the counter Eetu Arvola.­

– However, certain expenses are constantly running. We have to see if we can negotiate rents, for example, Arvola says.

Spring and summer have usually been high season for eyewear stores, when people typically seek refreshment for their outfits anyway. Demand for sunglasses and contact lenses in particular is growing. Tourists are also an important source of income for downtown shops.

– Sales have fallen throughout the year because there have been fewer people moving in the center of Helsinki anyway, so this is beating even harder now, Arvola says.

Spring and summer are especially important times for the skate shop Lamina on Fredrikinkatu, because the turnover for the year is practically made then, says the owner of the shop. Markus Aarni.

– Lamina makes its results between April and July, because in the winter we make a loss.

– The season was just beginning, and we expected that demand would finally grow now. Now the best sales peak of the year will not come.

The turnover of the stone foot trade threatens to drop to zero at the beginning of the best season. According to Aarn, a ban on movement could at least allow the collection of e-commerce purchases.

Markus Aarni thinks he will have to lay off two employees of the store.­

– We have a so-called click-and-collect service, which means that online purchases can be made from a store, Aarni says.

– Our interpretation is that once packages are allowed to be picked up from the post office, they can also be picked up at the store.

Skateboards and accessories can be purchased online, and the online store has accounted for about a quarter of Lamina’s revenue. According to Aarni, the growth of e-commerce would not compensate for the decline in sales of the stone foot trade.

– Yes, there will be a significant drop in sales. People don’t just buy clothes from us online, but when they come to the store to buy a deck, we may have tried to sell them something else as well. Now this extra sale is gone, Aarni says.

Aarni suspects he will have to lay off two employees in the store.

– Three more weeks could employ them, but I have a hunch that this will unfortunately not stay here, he estimates.

He does not believe he will receive any state subsidies. The company that made the loss has never received financing from Business Finland, for example.

People’s encounters are also related to the work of real estate agents, even though about a third of home sales are already done electronically. However, this only means the actual transaction, which can be done online, for example with bank IDs.

But while homes are featured online with 3D model birds and videos, they have not replaced traditional home screens.

However, real estate agents expect personal home displays to continue even if movement restrictions come into force.

– Universal displays are now completely banned from us, even though customers sometimes want them. There are only two people present on the screens. A mask requirement has also been imposed, says the CEO of Kiinteistömaailma Risto Kivelä.

The same type of action has been taken at the Apartment Center. Among other things, the rapporteurs have been instructed to disinfect the surfaces of the apartment, for example the door handles to which visitors touch.

– The restriction on movement may have some effect on the volumes of transactions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the Turku region, estimates the Business Director Marina Salenius From the apartment center.

– However, I don’t expect any big V-curve, but mostly a small pit.



Source site www.is.fi

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