Business & Economy

Lebanon’s worsening crisis takes toll on businesses

Beirut, Aug 18 (EFE).- While many Lebanese businesses and establishments remain closed due to lack of electricity and fuel, others are struggling to keep their businesses afloat with improvised measures after the situation deteriorated sharply last week.

 “Our team is motivated enough to work through the night, since generator operators are running the machines longer hours at night,” Sara al-Sayed, owner of a Beirut custom furniture business, told Efe.

 “We will not close until it is totally impossible to operate,” said al-Sayed, who currently runs her business from Spain.

The 31-year-old lamented that there is no fixed schedule for the power supply, not from the state-owned company nor the private generators people resort to.

Currently, the public supply lasts for a maximum of a couple of hours a day and the diesel generators are shut down most of the time since the central bank lifted fuel subsidies last week.

Al-Sayed says she is looking for other solutions to keep her business afloat and is even considering moving her business to Spain, despite the fact that sales have dropped by over $15,000 since the economic crisis in Lebanon began at the end of 2019.

Others have taken more drastic measures, such as Karim al-Solo, founder and CEO of Energía Alternativa SAL group, who decided to sell his business and he plans to migrate within two weeks.

“Is there going to be a demand for solar energy? Do people have the money for it?” he said.

 “It is very difficult because the administrative paperwork and everything else takes a long time and there is no fuel to get to your destination,” he added.

In a bid to alleviate the severe fuel shortage, security forces have confiscated nearly 4.4 million liters of gasoline and 2.2 million liters of diesel in raids against gas stations and fuel stores suspected of hoarding stocks and not putting them up for sale in public. EFE

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