Torres-Gomez calls on gov’t to ‘strengthen’ SMEs as ‘economy remains weak’
MANILA, Philippines — Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez on Monday pressed the government to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and help them weather the economic turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sharply limited the public’s spending activities.
Torres-Gomez said the support could come in the form of low-interest loans which owners of small businesses can use as working capital to grow or expand their investments.
“As our economy remains weak due to the harsh impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government can find a way to strengthen small and medium enterprises. The executive, through the initiative of lawmakers, can provide loans to these SMEs to help keep them afloat during these challenging times. This can be included in the 2022 national budget, which budget managers are still finalizing,” she pointed out.
The lawmaker stressed that the “ultimate goal is to prepare our people by teaching them opportunities that they can explore while full-time and even part-time jobs are limited and unstable. People need stable jobs, but in the absence of such, the government can provide income opportunities.”
Torres-Gomez lamented that while small businesses are essential to a country’s economy, many local SMEs struggle to find capital funding.
“Small or medium businesses do not have access to resources that many established businesses may have. An SME loan is a credit facility that can be extremely useful for SMEs to realize their full potential through appropriate funding. An SME loan would allow small business owners to ramp up their inventories even when cash flow is delayed,” she explained.
She added small business loans are more practical because these usually have low documentation requirements, are collateral-free, have low-interest rates, and are thus, affordable; and have a flexible repayment scheme.
“Our government leaders cannot lose sight of business rookies. There should always be ways to look out for everyone’s needs. Like low-income families who seek government support to survive the ruthless effects of this national health emergency, small and medium business investors also want the backing of their leaders to endure the economic blows of COVID-19,” Torres-Gomez said.
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