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Can small/medium-sized businesses survive the COVID-19 economic recession?

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Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2020. 4:13 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting millions globally. In Belize, the tourism industry suffered a major blow due to the closure of the Philip Goldson International Airport.

Many local businesses are striving to survive and keep income flowing for salaries and bills.

Though the Government of Belize has decided to provide support to some businesses through their MSME support program, the grant and loan program will only assist a minute percentage of businesses in Belize.

In March, banks assisted customers with a moratorium on loans for a few months.

That moratorium has expired and in a virtual press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the request is there for banks to assist by extending the moratorium or assisting customers with some sort of relief.

But, after speaking with several owners of small businesses, they shared that sales continue to be dismal and loss of income continues to be detrimental especially for the survival of operations for small businesses.

While many promotional campaigns are based on supporting local businesses and buying local, it seems that there just isn’t “any business.”

If the situation continues as is, owners fear that it may mean the loss of employment for many.

Many others remain unemployed as major hotels remain closed and others have taken to online food, clothes and snack sales.

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