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CARACAS. – Germán Peña gets up every morning to start up the business model he started from his home in Caracas. The young man decided, three months ago, to start selling fast food and offer some dishes for the modest price of one dollar as a way to attract customers and survive in the complex Venezuelan economy.

For selling 100 hot dogs, he earns 100 dollars after investing 70, so his profit is 30, and on average, this is the number of hot dogs that he can sell in a "productive" day.

His business is one of the thousands of businesses that are part of the informal sector in Venezuela and that has clung to the value of the currency as a way of calling customers to stay on their feet.

It is also an example of the growth of unregulated trade as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic, the crisis and the hyperinflation that last year was close to 3.000% and that made credits disappear.

INFORMAL TRADE ON THE RISE

According to the National Council of Commerce and Services (Consecomercio), there is currently a "stampede" towards informal commerce because, in addition to the absence of credit, the pandemic affected 30% of businesses in their sales due to the impossibility of opening their stores. doors daily.

The business organization maintains that between 20 and 30% of the businesses that "definitely decided" to close their doors as a result of covid-19, in reality, are working without paying taxes.

The president of said entity, Felipe Capozzolo, explained to EFE that “many of them, the majority, have decided to seek the informal path, above all, using tools and electronic means that allow them to subsist. They are in subsistence mode, let's say, undertaking activities that can help them solve the daily problem”.

And that daily problem can be solved with the accumulation of sales at a dollar that do not leave great profits, but that helps to subsist in a Venezuela that does not understand a price lower than this, something that shocks in a country in which the salary The minimum established by the Government is 64 cents on the dollar.

It is common to find sweets, cigarettes, cake slices, empanadas, socks, fashion accessories or even the service to park a vehicle for the price of one dollar.

It is the minimum rate, even in formal commerce, despite the fact that wages are not adjusted to this formula.

PROFITABILITY

But even when there are these "offers" at one dollar, many consider that it is not profitable, because they underestimate the value of this bill. Germán himself assures that selling at one dollar “is not profitable”, although he admits that the dish that sells the most is the one at this value.

"It's not profitable; With the other hamburgers that we sell (for 6 or 7 dollars) you can (make a profit), but with a dollar, not at all,” assured Germán.

However, the perception is different for Eufres Romero, owner of a naturally constituted restaurant in a wealthy area of ​​Caracas. The merchant, after a year and a half of implementing sales at one dollar, strongly defends that it is possible to maintain a business in Venezuela with sales at this price and make a profit. CD Source

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