Decreasing economic activity affecting small business


A LOCALLY-owned business is already experiencing difficulty due to the reduced economic activity associated with the covid-19 outbreak.
Maku Gift, owned by Annette Sete, is based in Kokopo, East New Britain.
Sete told The National yesterday that they had to close the shop.
“We have to close shop and send staff home for 14 days as per the Government’s SOE (state of emergency) recommendation,” she said.
“We ran a personal hygiene awareness with staff and updates on the current situation.
“As a small business, and with staff wages to pay, it’s a worry that we will struggle to make sure everyone has (money) during the lockdown.
“We managed to raise some cash to pay everyone extra to keep them at home.
“At least I know they’d be able to get some food for the 14 days.”
Sete’s business, engaged in fashion, designing and tailoring, also sell fabrics to customers around the country.
She called for intervention by the Government, and appealed to banks regarding the loans small businesses had.
“We also have loans to repay which I hope the Government and banks can work out a way to help us, say, maybe extend the repayment period,” she said.
“We have shut down our small operation so there’s no production and sales.
“We have our new fabric stock to be allocated and sent to customers countrywide. But everything is on standstill while we take care of ourselves, our families, our staff and the community we live in.
“Having said that, we are also using the time, especially me, to work on our outstanding projects: stock take, designs.”

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