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Metro Line Construction Forcing Nearby Businesses To Downsize, Close

Construction on the underground portion of Saigon’s first metro line may have just started, but businesses in the surrounding area are starting to feel the pinch, complaining that sales are down as much as 80%, reports Tuoi Tre.

Parts of Lê Lợi Street have been sectioned off with tall tin fences, blocking tourists from easily reaching nearby shops, some of which pay nearly VND100 million per month in rent. The lack of foot traffic is forcing some businesses to close and others to lay off staff:

“As the number of customers already dropped by 80%, I decided to cease business. It’s impossible to afford such a cost so I have no choice but to return the premises,” said one owner who runs a lacquer shop, adding that his request for a 50% rent reduction was dismissed by his landlord.

A nearby shop has been able to avoid closure, at least for now, but has laid off all its staff:

“What’s the point of employing people while we the owners even have nothing to do at this store?” the owner lamented.

It’s hard to believe that neither city authorities nor businesses considered how metro construction would impact nearby stores.

[Tuoi Tre]

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