ALMOST half of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Cebu are trying to get back on their feet despite the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was what Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu chief for small and medium enterprise development division Marivic Aguilar said as the local economy had gradually reopened under a least restrictive environment.
“MSMEs contribute to the economic development and activity in a community. They generate jobs, supply consumers and help other allied businesses. We’re so concerned with the businesses affected by Covid-19 because it has direct impact to our employment,” she said during a Philippine Information Agency virtual forum.
The 2019 data of the DTI recorded an estimate of 100,000 MSMEs operating in the province.
In its June 2020 survey report in Central Visayas, almost 50 percent of MSMEs were partially operational and 22 percent were fully opened. Twenty-eight percent of MSMEs had a total shutdown.
Aguilar said helping MSMEs recover greatly benefits the employment rate as they’re the ones that hire people.
“The more we help those affected businesses, the more chances for them to rehire and provide employment to the community. With better economic communities, our way of life will improve,” she said.
She emphasized that the DTI is providing MSMEs with both technical and financial assistance.
“We have the Small Business (SB) Corp., as our partner that is offering recovery and restarting loans,” she said.
SB Corp. is the financial arm of the DTI that takes care of the financial support to MSMEs through the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises Program.
Meanwhile, new businesses have opened up in Central Visayas despite the pandemic.
DTI’s Business Name Registration recorded some 342 new businesses in the region in April, 1,760 new registrations in May, 9,722 in June and 6,581 in July.
Aguilar said most of the new businesses registered were retail sari-sari stores, online stores and food delivery services among others. (JOB)