THE Covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries. It has spared no one, including the creative economy.
Because of this, creative entrepreneur and design advocate Gil Zaire Carungay said there is a need to activate the Creative Cebu Grid and launch the online portal to leverage on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) City of Design Designation of Cebu.
“With government coffers already drained, and all resources diverted to fighting this virus, we cannot expect much in terms of financial assistance from the administration. Interventions have to be designed to be low cost, high impact, easy to access and straightforward to implement,” said Carungay in an online forum.
Carungay is one of Cebu’s creative geniuses instrumental in attaining Cebu’s badge as Unesco’s Creative City of Design.
In Cebu, creative services and functional design make up the bulk of the estimated US$550 million creative industries, Carungay reported.
However, consumer sentiment at this time of global health and economic crisis is at unprecedented lows in the country compared to in other countries.
He noted that “every aspect of the creative value chain has been impacted as emphasized pre-existing weaknesses in the creative industries—accelerated changes that were already happening before the pandemic.”
A survey conducted from May to June 2020 on the Covid-19’s impact on creative-related businesses showed that 79 percent didn’t have government assistance, 92 percent were completely shut down or had work-from-home arrangements and 64 percent had no business continuity plans, Carungay pointed out.
Carungay added that 65 percent of the creative firms suffered cancelled orders, gigs and events; only nine percent saw an increase in activity and 74 percent will continue to work remotely in some form.
He said the creative industry can rise through the pandemic through initiatives like fundraising, shelter in place affirmation, production of unique personal protective equipment, conduct of virtual conferences, Facebook Marketplaces and capacity building.
“The paths ahead are still unclear and are paved with numerous challenges. Covid-19 remains a major threat and will be with us for a while. The creative industry practitioners are particularly vulnerable,” he said. (JOB)