Preparation for 75th Independence Day celebrations have stirred the trading activities across the country as people have been out in the markets to buy national flags, banners, bunts, printed face masks, horns besides dining out, purchasing sweets and other bakery items. Although the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses, a big improvement has been seen this year as compared to last year when a relatively stricter lockdown was in place to contain the surge of the pandemic. President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Yasir Ilyas who is also Retailers Association’s president said normally 100 to 120 percent increase in Independence Day related trade activities was seen every year in Centaurus Shopping Mall alone, but this year such increase could not be witnessed. All Pakistan Anjuman Tajiran Prsident Ajmal Baloch said that the market situation especially in the federal capital on the eve of 75th Independence Day was good and the retailers as well as seasonal stall holders were earning handsome money. He said besides trade of the decorative material such as flags, banners and horns, etc, for celebration of the Independence Day, businesses of fast food outlets, restaurants and bakeries also goes up on this occasion as people move out of homes and spend money in the markets. Meanwhile, during a visit to various markets, it was observed that people were more interested in green face masks and those printed with national flags which were being sold at Rs50-60 per item. In addition, a packet of normal quality bunting flags was being sold at around Rs130 to Rs180 while a good quality packet was being sold for up to Rs600. Muhammad Sohaib, a stall holder said he was getting good business this year compared to the last year but still it was not as much as it was in pre-Covid days. Shoppers however, also complained about extremely high prices of decorative items, demanding that the government should keep a check on prices besides providing subsidies to retailers so everybody can participate in the celebrations.