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Metro Opinion

Not business as usual

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

PRIOR to the pandemic, a friend’s business was doing good. It’s a single proprietorship public relations (PR) firm and in the category of SMEs (small, medium enterprises). 

Back then, clients abound, particularly those in need of external PR to reach out to the media and target customers to market a specific product line. COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown altered my friend’s business model. Allow me to keep the identity of my friend and those similiary situated SMEs whom I’ve conversed with lately. 
The social distancing norm is an obstacle that has to be seriously taken into account in going back to business as holding events is no longer permissible at the moment or in the so-called New Normal. 
Now, they are awaiting exactly what the national government can offer to assist them going back to business. 
On table is the worse case scenario of taking the bitter pill. By closing shops. 

Quiting while one is ahead is definitely one of the better alternative rather than to lose more money in the process. 

This is the reason friends in the legal and accounting businesses are currently busy as bees. Companies readying to go back to operations are finding ways on how to keep their business afloat. First available option is to downsize, streamline manpower in order to cut labor cost and  reduce maintenance and operating expenses.

Going around the metro, I’ve gathered that one radical move during the ECQ period and in anticipation of slow reopening of the economy, fragmatic SMEs have already engaged the services of labor luminaries to draw up documents in preparation for a possible mass layoff, retrenchment, end of contract and offering early retirement. 
In order to avoid the tedious possible labor disputes that may arise, the engagement of reputable accounting firms have increased to make sure that the separation is within the legal bounds. 
Another alternative is to try to keep your business afloat. Because of the foregone revenue due to the ECQ, many companies are now in negotiations with the banks and other lenders to seek for a restructuring of their current loan obligations. Others are seeking to secure additional loans for their businesses to still continue to operate. 

While, it could taint its clean, purely white credit standing and worthiness-- even if they don’t want this route--some small businesses have no option but to accept the inevitable-- simply because they are on the verge of penury since there was no income to speak of during the lockdown period.

Still others are thinking of no longer renewing their rental space in shopping malls. Instead, they just have to sit it out the pandemic crisis, only to return operations when things have normalized and stabilized. As to when this will be, it’s beyond me.   
I am no grimmer. But the vision ahead is hazy. Is quiting while one is believed to be ahead a more realistic alternative?
What about those who are just starting a business? Or are have not broke even in their initial capital investments. 
Long and short. It's not business as usual for most entrepreneurs and industries.


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