Pandemic Forcing Tough Choices on Small Business Owners in Japan

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)--The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing owners of small businesses in Japan to make difficult decisions on whether to shut or try to find successors.

Some 50,000 small businesses in the country closed in 2020, a record high, according to Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. The pandemic was the final nail in the coffin for many businesses already struggling to find successors to continue operations.

With the pandemic making it difficult to envision a future of business, many are turning to outsiders to succeed operations.

Masanori Yoshida, president of restaurant operator Zekkocho, took over the operations of a "robatayaki" Japanese grill restaurant in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in August last year.

The 78-year-old previous owner, Kiyoshi Kato, had once planned to close the restaurant due to being unable to find a successor. Yoshida, a regular customer of the restaurant, took it over, believing that it should not be wasted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press