‘Pockets Of Economic Activity’ In NegOcc Pushed Amid Virus Crisis


A business leader here has sought support for local entrepreneurs, especially micro and small businesses, to keep the economy moving amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said on Tuesday that to promote patronage of local goods, the government and the private sector have to work on making the market available for these enterprises.

“There should be pockets of economic activity in almost all localities in the province,” he added.

Carbon said the Go Negosyo Centers, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), should be converted into retail outlets since new entrepreneurs need to have outlets for their products.

The DTI should also continue with their rolling stores and caravans promoting the produce of local farmers, producers, and entrepreneurs, he added.

Carbon also said that local government units (LGUs) should provide more market spaces for micro and small entrepreneurs aside from initiating caravans and rolling stores while shopping malls should create areas for homegrown and local products.

“If we want to buy local, the products should be made available so there should be activities,” he added.

Part of MBCCI’s advocacy is to provide support for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Bacolod City and other localities in the province.

With the ongoing implementation of the quarantine measures in Bacolod and Negros Occidental, most businesses have temporarily stopped operations, resulting in opportunity losses.

Carbon said the longer the hiatus, the more difficult and more expensive for businesses to start as their capital continues to deplete while the customers’ purchasing power weakens.

He added that with government subsidies, such as the Emergency Subsidy Program and Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program, there is a need to create economic activities.

“We should start, even small, to create pockets of economic activity, which will slowly become bigger. What we need to develop is the feeling of hope instead of fear from being infected by the virus,” Carbon said.

He noted that the MBCCI wants the locals, who are looking for ways to earn, to participate since it is an opportune time for local goods, especially agricultural products, to be highlighted.

“Though they are resilient, we have to provide them the market. We have to create hope, not fear,” Carbon added. (Erwin Nicavera pna)

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