- Publisher: Mercy Corps
Evidence from a recent assessment by Mercy Corps of economic recovery assessment in Sierra Leone showed that youth and petty traders were economically struggling at disproportional rates during the ebola crisis. Some of their economic shocks were related to common issues such as lack of access to financial services, cash reserves, and social networks for informal lending. But short-term regulations on business hours and market operations had an adverse affect on youth and traders operating at the highest levels of informality. These regulations were put in place to control the spread of the disease--however, ironically, it was easier for more formal businesses to operate illegally outside of business hours. Those with permanent shops and fixed locations were locatable by customers and able to do back-door business outside of regulated hours. Those who operated in the streets and tended to do business in the evenings lacked the visibility, fixed place of business, and networks to do business while restrictions were in place.