Financial aid tops business concerns

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    Nearly a year into the pandemic, business continues to cry for financial assistance from government as a great majority of them report their situation has not improved.

    Analysis of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.’s (Philexport) January 2021 survey point to the fact that most businesses, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises, need access to financial resources/funding which could in the form of grants from government.

    This is  the primary assistance that respondents said they need from the government.

    The respondents also raised the following concerns: streamlined processing of loan application, availability of inexpensive raw and packaging materials, custom support, technical innovation, freight regulation assistance, efficient information dissemination on the new coronavirus disease 2019 updates, fasttracking of vaccine rollout, and policies that are business-friendly which may include relaxing quarantine measures and easing of transportation restrictions.

    While majority or 90.9 percent of the firms are operating at a certain capacity and only 9.1 percent are, a huge percentage, 87.9 percent, reported  the current situation of their respective firms is similar to last year. Less than half or 42.4 percent laid off employees either temporarily or permanently.

    Findings of the survey showed businesses are gradually coping up despite the halts and shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak last year.