Impact survey

An enterprise impact survey shows that COVID-19 pandemic was creating long-lasting economic damage. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

An enterprise impact survey has revealed that more women-owned small businesses are the most vulnerable and most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with majority of them having to shut down completely.

The Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF), in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), conducted the survey from April 23 to April 30 with the results revealed yesterday.

FCEF chief executive officer Kameli Batiweti said findings showed that the COVID-19 crisis was creating long-lasting economic damage and changing the way FCEF members were doing business in Savusavu, Ba, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Nakasi, Nasinu, Lami, Nausori and Navua.

The survey showed that 14.93 per cent of the 67 members who participated had stopped operating because of COVID-19, 29 per cent of enterprises were partially operating while 43.28 per cent were in full operations.

In addition the survey highlighted challenges faced by the businesses with 21.86 per cent of enterprises stating that cash flow to meet their salaries and wages bill and operate their businesses was inadequate.

Of surveyed enterprises, 26.78 per cent reported that their customers/clients were affected and demand was lower than normal.

Supply chain disruptions was another key issue impacting businesses whereby 8.74 per cent of the enterprises reported that vendors were unable to supply inputs and 12.57 per cent said that their business partners had been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Meanwhile it was also revealed that out of the 67 enterprises who participated in the survey, 34.33 per cent of enterprises had dismissed or had plans to dismiss their workers.

FCEF executive officer Victoria Yee said the report also had recommendations to businesses in terms of diversifying their revenue streams.

Ms Yee said there were some manufacturers who were already in operation and planning to diversify but needed financial support to do so.

She said the surveyed members belonged to a range of sectors, including textile, leather and apparel, transportation and transportation equipment, hotel / tourism, retail / sales, construction, financial or insurance activities, underwater maintenance of container ships and oil tankers, floriculture, paints among other sectors.

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