CEBU

Biz leader sees rise of onlinepreneurs

TECHIE ENTRE-PRENEURS: The Covid-19 pandemic has forced business owners regardless of size to venture into the digital space to survive and remain relevant in these trying times. Business leader Rey Calooy, who represents the micro and small businesses in Cebu, said many of his fellow entrepreneurs have tapped social media to continue doing business amid the strict border controls and extended lockdowns, especially in Cebu City. (SunStar file)

WHILE the Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the future of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), it has given birth to a new breed of entrepreneurs who use social media to their advantage. They are called the onlinepreneurs (online entrepreneurs).

According to Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club (FilCeb), MSMEs have adopted the hit-and-run system where they only sell their products if there is definite demand or orders.

“Based on our own survey of MSMEs that are Filceb members, around 70 percent are in hit-and-run status. It means they only open if they have orders from their takeout or delivery. But this is only for survival, and this reduced up to 80 to 90 percent of their workers,” he told SunStar Cebu.

With this, they are seeing the rise of more millennials delving into the business, tapping social media to market their products.

“They are the ones that thrive today since they are techie. This crisis created more new onlinepreneurs,” he said.

Calooy said the pandemic has forced business owners to work doubly hard as only a handful of their skilled workers are on duty.

“Mostly, the MSMEs that are renting physical offices have closed their shops since they can’t pay the rent,” he said.

Stimulus

Secretary Vince Dizon, Deputy Chief Implementer for the National Action Plan Against Covid-19, said there is a proposed additional stimulus that could help MSMEs cope with the economic difficulties brought by this pandemic.

“Under the proposed Bayanihan 2, there is further assistance as part of the economic stimulus. The Department of Finance (DOF) is also pushing for the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (Create) bill to help businesses, especially the MSMEs,” he said.

The Create bill (formerly the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act) is one of the instruments under the Philippine Program for Recovery with Equity and Solidarity, the proposed stimulus package of the government’s economic team to address the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the key amendments pushed under the Create bill is an immediate five percentage point cut in the corporate income tax rate starting July 2020.

“In the second half of this year alone, this will result in a reduction of government revenues estimated at P42 billion that all firms, especially the country’s MSMEs, can use to fund their operations and retain employees. For the succeeding five years, the total estimate is P625 billion that these firms can invest in the revitalization of their businesses and create even more jobs for Filipino workers. This unprecedented investment reflects our resolve to vigorously fight the impacts of Covid-19 and get businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible,” the DOF said.

Dizon added that there is a need to assist major cities to get out of the present and hard lockdown they are experiencing.

“If we are able to do this together, businesses can start operating again and we can reopen the economy,” he said.


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