IN A nutshell, financial infusions and acquiring digital knowledge are two main things that businesses employ and clamor to allow them to thrive and stay competitive after the current health crisis.

At present, most of the small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) including farmers are ramping up their online presence such as promoting their products in the Facebook Marketplace, creating Facebook groups with other potential customers as well as partnering with local delivery services.

“We have to change our business style or how we give our service depending on the circumstances. Like karon, walay makagawas kay ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) but we still need to earn money so we offer online and free delivery,” Mango Island owner Dece Bisnar Uy said.

“They need to adapt to technology. Nowadays, lisud og dili ka kabalo ug internet. Una, dili ka ma update. Ikaduha, maiwit ka sa baligya (You will be left behind if you are not on the internet),” she added.

However, Bisnar admits skills in selling products online are only one part of the spectrum. She shared that while there were still orders, she struggled to produce due to challenges in sourcing out other materials for her products caused by movement restrictions.

They have resorted to other income streams that are currently in demand such as eatery. Arkadyo Pepper Sauce owner Russell Servillon said he also makes and sells personal protective equipment (PPE).

Technology and internet connectivity have also benefited some life and health insurance companies. They have digitized their processes such as application, approval, client monitoring, marketing and promotion, and even the purchasing of their products. They found it convenient and efficient.

For the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, there is no other way to cushion the impact but to be supported financially after Covid-19, according to BPO Association of Davao president Eric Manalastas.

The work-from-home scheme and skeleton work arrangement is particularly costly for the industry. Unlike other office-based jobs, the company is required to at least provide internet connection or necessary equipment for their agents who will work in their homes. Their skeleton workforce should also be housed in hotels, provided with food, and transported to and from their offices, all at the expense of the company.

While all these adjustments are taking place, business leaders have also called on the government and other private entities on the possible interventions that might benefit all that drives the economy.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) are currently soliciting ideas from stakeholders le to lay out a series of business post-Covid-19 recovery measures. This might include the possibility of businesses to continue with work-from-home arrangements.

“I believe many companies will still choose work from home arrangements to help manage costs and maintain social distancing. A strong stable internet is required for this,” DCCCII executive vice president Belenda Torres said.

DCCCII president John Carlo B. Tria also said the ICT-Davao promised to assist businesses in their transition online.

Banks and government agencies such as Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, and RCBC have also made available loan facilities for the businesses.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has also proposed to the government several actions that the business community needs in the coming months.

Among these are rehabilitation of existing transportation infrastructures and prioritizing those that enhances agriculture and manufacturing supply chain, refocusing on growth strategy on the domestic market and aim for food security, and equipping MSMEs digital knowledge to bridge supply chain gaps such as an end-to-end logistics platform solutions to ensure that the access of farmers, fisherfolks, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to markets is unimpeded.

There is also the continued call to provide more flexible arrangements for MSEs’ access to loans as well as the elimination of barriers to logistics and the movement of labor in essential sectors, especially in public transport.