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Small businesses must adapt to survive

Small business or those under the category of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) will have to adapt to overcome the grave economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philippine Coffee Board president Pacita “Chit” Juan said, “This is the new normal. We must accept it and get used to it and most of all, adjust our business, job or career to adapt to it.”

Juan said MSMEs must learn to use modern technologies and adopt new business models – going online, investing in inventory system software and understanding supply chains.

“We can no longer be what we used to be. We have to learn new skills,” she added. “It’s time to do it now — learn how to pay your bills online, learn how to transfer money with GCash or PayMaya.”

Juan cited the “hyperlocal” trend which involves joining online marketplaces and introducing products to a hyperlocal market such as next door or apartment neighbors and village residents and friends.

The “hyperlocal” market will be part of the new norm for small business, with customers choosing products on chat groups.

Other companies are now holding virtual meetings as people avoid face to face meetings.

Juan discussed other new norms for small business, which are locavorism, shorter supply chain, transparency, slow food and “plant your own food.”

“Buy supplies from as local a source as possible. It’s not cost alone, it’s helping small businesses have a steady market,” she said, adding firms are now buying locally-sourced ingredients as imports are harder to get.

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