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Diamond Island vendor crisis

We have no money to pay our suppliers. We hope the companies understand our situation and forgive us.

More than 100 vendors at the Diamond Island night market have requested their landlord suspend rent payments for three months, due to a slump in business following last week’s bridge tragedy.

“The place is not like before,” said Yi Bopha, owner of Yi Meng Heang soup and drinks shop yesterday. “It’s so quiet – my business has dropped by 80 to 90 percent”.

The vendors have submitted petitions asking for the suspension of rent payments, but they plan to continue selling their wares in the hopes that custom will see a resurgence in the future.

“Even though we have not [got] customers, we haven’t stop selling. If we stopped it would make the situation quiet forever. So, we must try to sell our products – hopefully the project will return to normal,” said Nou Sokunthy, owner of K & T shop, who added her signature to a petition two days ago.

“We have no money to pay our suppliers. We hope the companies understand our situation and forgive us.”

Nou Sokunthy rents two shops at the night market, one for selling clothing and one for showing 3-D movies. Both had seen huge drop-offs in business.

But Sam Sreyneth, owner of Elite Salon, which is located in front of the scene of the disaster, was optimistic that business would eventually pick up.

“I’m not afraid – we are continuing with our business. If we postpone our plans, it will just make visitors more afraid,” she said.

Officials at the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corp-managed Diamond Island night market yesterday confirmed that they had received the petition from vendors, and sounded optimistic that a resolution could be found.

“We have received the request, and it has been sent to top management to find a solution,” said Chan Sotheary, manager of the night market.

“I don’t think their request will be a problem. Our company will take measures on the issue.”

Company officials also plan to meet with vendors to discuss the problems they are facing.

Charles Vann, executive vice president at Canadia Bank and a senior official at Diamond Island developers OCIC, said he had not been able to review the petition yet, but added the firm had officials who were dealing with the vendors’ request.



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