Most of the respondents in the sample size that ran Small Scale Business Enterprises (SMEs) reviewed that load shedding affected their businesses such as photocopying, printing, salons, baking and welding. Other respondents reviewed that load shedding did not affect their businesses in any way; such businesses included those that sold merchandise such as Bananas, Groundnuts and soft loan business.
However, other respondents disclosed that business increased because they made a lot of sales in products such as candle and charcoal. Bars also received a lot of customers because people did not have what to do when power was rationed as such they opted to going into bars. Conversely, the majority did not respond to this research question stating that it was not applicable to them in that they did not run any form of business (Green Horizon, 2016).From the reviewed literature Chisanga (2014), pointed out that load shedding and fuel shortages had characterized Zambia’s economy with both domestic and commercial customers struggling to acclimatize to the new order. In many places across Zambia, both large and small scale business performances had slowed down production as they would not work without electricity. Load shedding had also highly affected the operation of most SMEs in the areas that depended on electricity to run their production equipments to support service provision to customers such as barbershops, hair dressing, grain milling, photocopying and vending.
Similarly, respondents that ran SMEs stated that food stuff such as daily products went bad because fridges could not operate. They further responded that they could not bake and pop corn if power was rationed. Other respondents pointed out that without power they could not print, type, photocopy work, dress hair, cut hair, weld, sell freezits and fish. Additionally, some SMEs dealing with food vending, retail shops and groceries had made less loses in productivity because they did not depend much on power to produce them (Green Horizon, 2016).Respondents that sold products such as charcoal and candle disclosed that business increased because more charcoal and Candle were sold in the process profit was made. One of the respondents stated that ‘people are buying a lot of charcoal, so my businesses has increased i earn up to k3000 a month which was a lot of money especially when you do not pay rent”.
However, the literature that was reviewed on the effects of load shedding on business performance only pointed out the negative effects of load shedding on SMEs but did not state the positive impacts of load shedding on SMEs.From the primary data collected on the influence of load shedding on SMEs, the majority of the respondents disclosed that indeed load shedding affected the performance of SMEs because it led to a decline in the performance of SMEs. However, some respondents stated that load shedding did not affect them in anyway by revealing that they were connected to the main line of Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) and some respondents stated that the research question was not applicable to them because they did not run any SMEs.