Authority helps shops return to business

Hu Min
Xuhui District's market regulation authority offers help and advice to streetside stores as they reopen again after lengthy closures because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Hu Min
Authority helps shops return to business
Hu Min / SHINE

An official with the Tianlin Market Regulation Station informs a worker of reopening notice at a foot bath shop.

Authority helps shops return to business
Hu Min / SHINE

Officials with Binjiang Market Regulation Station show Zhou Shengwei a reopening notice at her laundry. 

Streetside shops in Xuhui are being helped to return to work by the district’s market regulation authority.

Zhou Shengwei, who operates a laundry on Xiataibang Road, has been struggling since the coronavirus outbreak as the shop had been closed for over a month.

"I suffered a loss of 1,300 yuan (US$183) each day because of closure, and I felt desperate," said Zhou.

Zhou ran a restaurant in the past but two years ago she invested 500,000 yuan in the laundry shop. "The shop is my pillar," she said.

Zhou's shop reopened recently but she found she did not have enough preventive items such as masks and disinfectant.

They authority's assistance warmed her heart and eased her worries.

Officials from the Binjiang Market Regulation Station learned of her difficulties and helped her bridge the demand with relevant businesses.

Officials also brought the good news during an inspection that her rent could be cut or even eliminated during the coronavirus outbreak.

The landlord of the laundry is a state-owned enterprise and officials are bridging the process.

The property management company of a nearby residential complex sent work uniforms to her shop to help her through the difficult period.

Although the laundry shop has had just five to six customers a day after reopening, fewer than half in the past, Zhou said she was confident about the future.

"I think everything will finally turn better thanks to the help from various sides," she told Shanghai Daily.

A foot bath shop on Tianlin Road also has few customers since it reopened last week. 

"But all in all, reopening is better than closure," said Wang Ping, owner of the store.

The shop, which has more than 10 staff, was closed for nearly two months due to the epidemic and suffered a loss of nearly 300,000 yuan as a result.

To help it recover, officials from the Tianlin Market Regulation Station visited and provided instructions and guidance in advance.

"Shops in the service industry may use medical treatment terms in promotions, which will be fake," said Shan Yindong, an official with the station. "We provide instruction in advance to help them avoid legal risks," he said.

"The guidance is very helpful," said Wang.

The Xuhui District Administration for Market Regulation has released 20 measures to spur resumption of work.

One allows mitigated administrative penalties if irregularities are found that are not relevant to the epidemic and not intentional.

The administration has also taken measures including allowing non-medical apparatus and instruments companies to purchase personal protective items such as masks directly from wholesalers and using video reviews to replace onsite checks when new food, medicine and medical apparatus and instruments businesses apply for licenses.

In Xuhui, more than 7,200 streetside businesses have reopened, accounting for over 73 percent of the total. 

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