“Grocery stores are tough. When they go well, they go really well - you stock goods, people buy, you make a profit, you can restock and continue to add more products. When things go bad, however, it is difficult to recover without support.”- Mohammad Sukur Ali, Muduli, Natore.
Sukur is a seasoned grocer whose customers - and profits - disappeared in March. He was suddenly unable to restock his shop regularly. Even when his customers did intermittently come, he then did not have the goods they wanted - so they did not come back.
The demand for goods was high when lockdown started, but Sukur Ali could not benefit because he could not afford to fill his shelves. His relatives were struggling as well, and would not lend him money, and he was not able to buy goods on credit from his suppliers.
Sukur Ali took out a loan of BDT 300,000 (USD 3,538) from BRAC and saved his business. His shop was booming again within a few days of restocking, and doing even better than it was before the pandemic. Previously he earned BDT 7,000 (USD 82) - BDT 8000 (USD 95) per day, now he earns BDT 20,000 (USD 235) - BDT 25,000 (USD 295) per day.