Business Mentor: A difficult test for entrepreneurs

Armando Bartolome

Posted at Apr 18 2020 09:59 AM

Business Mentor: A difficult test for entrepreneurs 1
The Makati business district's streets were virtually empty on March 17, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The world was caught unprepared by COVID-19. As it progressed in China, many thought that it would not become a worldwide threat.

For weeks after the COVID-19 threat hogged the headlines in several countries. We were not spared from the deadly disease. And the proclamation of the enhanced community quarantine may just be the best decision made by the president to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But it has positive and negative effects. And one may find it difficult to weigh which one should be taken.

The enhanced community quarantine was meant to ensure people’s safety by preventing people from getting infected in PUVs and trains, malls, restaurants, etc.

Businesses, however, are now suffering because of the lockdown. Businessmen are concerned with the welfare of their family and employees, and of course, the survival of their firms.

As requested by the Department of Labor and Employment, companies have given out the 13th-month pay of the employees to aid them for the weeks of not being able to work.

It is such a struggle for both the companies and employees, especially small business owners who rely on their business for their everyday expenses.

The enhanced community quarantine has led economists to talk about the possibility of a recession. Consumption is down, many businesses are not getting any revenues, many workers may eventually lose their jobs.

For sure, investment contracts and corporate bankruptcies will increase which will significantly put pressure on both the banking and the financial system.

Economic damage is expected in the second and third and it may take until the fourth quarter before the world recovers.

The huge malls have sent out an advisory stating that their main store would be closed until further notice while supermarkets, drugstores, and banks will continue to serve people at shortened times each day.

Billions of pesos are lost because of this. I am not against the enhanced community quarantine. I just feel sorry for those who were not able to have enough money to sustain the needs of their families.

Some companies may not be able to provide a whole month’s salary to their employees because business has stopped. Probably, the best that they can provide is just their 2-week’s salary.

Let’s just say, a certain company is still able to provide the needs of the people because they have enough resources to make their products. However, the spending ability of consumers will not be the same.

Thinking that they need to have money set aside for emergencies, consumers naturally cut down on spending. Thus, they would rather tighten their belts for a while to ensure that they have enough finances to hold them all throughout the enhanced community quarantine period.

The problem persists and we are unaware when this will all end. In times like this, we just all need to be more understanding and vigilant.

We cannot change how things are going as of now, but we need to follow the guidelines of the quarantine.

Entrepreneurs are likely to suffer as long as the virus has not been completely eliminated. But, all we can do now is to fervently pray that we can all get through this.

For more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome
by email:
FB Page: Butz Bartolome