Stores in Bnei Brak
Stores in Bnei Brak Yossi Aloni/Flash90

An investigation by the Achrayoot organization, which provides counseling and financial advice for businesses, showed that 30% of the business owners in Bnei Brak are having difficulty reopening their businesses after the lockdown.

The government closed businesses in early April, allowing them to reopen two weeks ago.

However, dozens of stores from a variety of industries are still closed, with their owners offering them for rent or sale. Some of the stores are being offered for sale together with their entire inventories.

Shmuel, a 45-year-old resident of Bnei Brak, told Achrayoot: "I inherited a clothing store from my parents, of blessed memory, who passed away seven years ago. Other than the financial success that supported my family throughout the years, this business was, for me, a kind of continuation, it was an emotional thing to wake up every morning and open the store. The coronavirus, which came just before Passover, brought me to a situation in which there is no reason for me to come to the store. I ended up in debt to my suppliers, who won't give in, and the public isn't coming to buy as usual. I've given up."

Chaim Har-kesef, Achrayoot's secretary, said that the organization believes the crisis is more financial than medical. For every store closed, he said, there are two stores open for no benefit and without financial preparations for the future, and small and local businesses have taken their most painful hit, with some of them unable to recover. As a result, over 30% of the commercial properties on Bnei Brak's main street are being offered for rent or for sale.

Achrayoot also warned against taking loans without properly calculating first, especially loans with high interest rates from questionable sources. In their opinion, it is best to turn to professionals who have proven themselves in helping with financial crises.