The surge of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive and potentially permanent economic toll on a lot of businesses in the Philippines. According to the World Bank, the Philippine economy contracted by 6.2% in 2020. As a result, some businesses laid off their workers, some were even forced to close while others still managed to operate normally albeit the reduced profits and capacity.
While it is true that all businesses were affected, there is still a clear disparity in the effects of the pandemic between large and small businesses. Undoubtedly, large businesses have cash reserves to keep their businesses going. Meanwhile, small businesses must borrow money or apply for loans to keep their operations afloat. And when we say small businesses, we are talking about Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs. Here’s a quick trivia: MSMEs are the main drivers of growth in the Philippines accounting for 99.6% of total enterprises and employing around 62% of the total workforce.
Now, how did MSMEs fare during the pandemic?
According to a study by the Asian Development Bank last 2020, 71% of Philippine Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) suffered significant economic losses because of the pandemic. What’s worse is that around 59% of the respondents reported zero income while 28% said that their revenues plunged by around 30%.
How did they overcome the destabilizing effects of the pandemic?
When the quarantine restrictions were imposed in March, the Philippines saw a radical shift in business operations. People were not allowed to go out and establishment capacities were greatly reduced due to social distancing rules. This prompted businesses to literally bring their products to the comfort of their own customers’ homes.
What followed is the explosion of delivery services.
Delivery services have indeed been around even before the pandemic. But their vital importance in the Philippine economy was highlighted during the pandemic. Business continuity was made possible thanks to delivery apps. They were able to address the core logistical issues brought upon by quarantine restrictions.
In fact, last September 2020, Bloomberg reported that online businesses in the Philippines have surged by around 40 times since March. This accelerated adoption of e-commerce was also made possible by delivery services.
In Suyo Mobile App, an emerging peer-to-peer (P2P) delivery platform in the Philippines, all merchant partners are MSMEs with a big portion offering various food and beverages.
The Merchant Catalog, the newest feature of the app, allows MSMEs to advertise their products which can be delivered via the Suyo App itself. In the application, customers may opt to choose the items they like in the catalog. Upon adding the items to their in-app cart and after choosing the preferred delivery options, a driver will be designated to deliver their items. It’s fast and it saves customers the hassle of finding merchants that will satisfy their needs.
While the whole world is still combatting the pandemic through contact tracing and vaccination efforts, a lot of businesses are now slowly getting their way back into the market.
The World Bank stresses that “social assistance to poor and vulnerable families as well as micro and small enterprises will help cushion the impact of COVID-19 and hasten recovery in the Philippines”. This emphasis on MSMEs implies their vital contribution to our country’s economic recovery.
With the help of delivery platforms such as the Suyo Mobile App, MSMEs will find it easier to strengthen and expand their business operations.
You can now download the Suyo Mobile App in Google Play and App Store. Partner with us now and let us help you in addressing your business needs!