As the Department of Trade and Industry prepares to celebrate the upcoming National MSME Week with the theme “Makabagong MSMEs, Bagong Pag-asa Laban sa Pandemya”, a regional office of the DTI called on the public to support local entrepreneurs and farmers.
“If we are willing to buy at full price the items sold by celebrities who are making millions a year, we should also be willing to pay at full price the items produced by our local small business owners who are struggling to earn a million a year,” said the Facebook post of DTI Region 10 (Northern Mindanao).
“Support our local entrepreneurs. Support our local farmers. Don’t ask for discount,” the post added.
Micro, small and medium enterprises are vital to the country’s economy and its recovery from the pandemic since the sector reportedly comprises over 90 percent of Philippine businesses and employs about 63 percent of the workforce. It also contributes 40 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.
Most of the local businesses and farmers that are classified as MSMEs have been struggling mightily throughout the pandemic and they will need our support to survive and recover. Our patronage will help keep such businesses afloat, allowing employees to keep their jobs and sustain the local economy as we all gear up for the long awaited recovery that we hope is coming as soon as government finally gets its act together.
This year’s National MSME Week will underscore the need for both the public and private sector’s response measures to minimize the negative impacts of Covid-19 on MSMEs. These include policies and initiatives put in place to support and enhance MSME viability, resiliency and sustainability.
Let us do what we can for the MSMEs around us. Supporting local businesses and resisting the urge to automatically ask for discounts from the smaller entrepreneurs will help them stay viable as we all struggle with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us help each other during these difficult times because in the end, we need them as much as they need us.*