Small Businesses Struggle After Ferry Disaster

Smaller businesses, temporary casual workers and the self-employed are struggling to make ends meet as most Koreans tightened their belts in the wake of the deadly ferry disaster off the southwest coast.

Companies and individuals have cancelled tours, group gatherings and leisure activities out of respect for the victims, which directly affects restaurants, hotels, karaoke bars, golf ranges, and taxi and coach businesses.

Most of the people working in such businesses are self-employed or on temporary contracts paid on an hourly basis. According to Statistics Korea, over 710,000 people worked in transportation, restaurant and lodging businesses as of 2012.

The number of people who go to the cinema or amusement parks has also dropped significantly compared to a year ago. The number of moviegoers on the fourth weekend of April dropped 28.8 percent compared to a year ago, visits to amusement parks 68.3 percent.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 12, 2014 12:08 KST