MUSCAT: A new report issued by the Oman Chamber of Commerce, industry (OCCI) paints a grim picture of the economic and social consequences of the ongoing boycott on certain businesses in the wake of the Gaza War. The report, a copy of which has been accessed by Oman Observer, highlights the significant decline in local procurement, plummeting revenues, and potential job losses faced by affected companies.
The report details a sharp drop in local purchases by impacted businesses. It cites the example of a leading fast food franchise which witnessed a staggering 85% reduction in local procurement, from RO 1.2 million in June 2023 to RO 179,000 in November 2023. Similar trends were observed with two other popular fast food chains, it noted.
The analysis further reveals a drastic decline in revenue and net income for affected companies. One franchise experienced a 73% revenue drop, coupled with a fivefold increase in losses. Another also saw its profits vanish, transitioning into a loss-making entity.
To mitigate the financial strain, companies are resorting to cost-cutting measures like branch closures and reduced working hours. However, the report warns that these measures may not be enough, and potential employee layoffs loom large. The analysis likens the situation to the economic hardships faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OCCI has emphasized the need for further studies to understand the boycott's full impact and calls for exploring solutions to mitigate its effects on businesses. The report also underscores the importance of open dialogue among all stakeholders to find mutually agreeable solutions that protect both businesses and the community.