Small business owners in Buenos Aires were filmed preparing to close their shops on Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on local businesses.
According to the Federation of Commerce and Industry of the City of Buenos Aires (Fecoba), around 18 per cent of Buenos Aires small businesses have closed since the start of the quarantine, and will most likely not reopen.
Argentina's lockdown measures, imposed since mid-March, have been extended for Buenos Aires until late June.
Footage from Buenos Aires shows dozens of closed stores with farewell messages and banners in their displays. Besides, some small business owners were filmed putting blinds on their shop’s windows, preparing to close.
Mauro Kuviski, one of the shop owners, said, «Unfortunately I have to close the store. Surely I will close down when the pandemic ends and I will leave because the debt that accumulates is a lot and I had no way to sustain.»
Oscar Moreno, an owner of a fast-food restaurant, said, «The pandemic arrived and although we tried to do our best, selling as we please, it really cannot be sustained, and unfortunately we have to close.»
«It hurts us a lot. It is a pain in the soul that the whole family has but we have no choice but to close and leave for something else,» Moreno added.
According to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has had over 34,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak. A total of 878 people have died with the virus.