President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. assures small businesses that strengthening and protecting them is one of the top priorities of his administration. Marcos said this during Go Negosyo’s MSME Summit 2022 at the Manila Hotel, August 26, 2022. (Noel Pabalate / Manila Bulletin)
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. assured small business owners that his government would stand by them no matter the circumstances, as they are the backbone of the Philippine economy.
Marcos said this as he graced the MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) Summit 2022 at the Manila Hotel on Friday, August 26.
In his speech, the President assured MSMEs that helping them get back on their feet is a priority of his administration.
“I assure you that the revitalization of our MSMEs is among the administration’s top priorities,” he said.
“I reiterate the government’s full commitment to work hand-in-hand with all stakeholders to make certain that MSMEs are protected and provided with ample opportunities, not only to recover from these extraordinary times but to grow and thrive in this modern age,” he added.
Marcos told small business owners that the government would be by their side through thick and thin.
“I once again give my utmost assurance and commitment that your government is here to help you level up and succeed, especially during these difficult times,” he said.
“The success of our MSMEs is crucial to fortifying the foundation of our economy. From this end, it is my assurance, we will continue to stand by your side, walk down the same road no matter the circumstances,” he added.
According to the President, MSMEs form part of the backbone of the economy as it generates more than half of the country’s employment.
“This sector’s critical role in our country’s economic regeneration, job creation, and poverty reduction is critical,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marcos thanked Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion for hosting the summit, saying it was an opportunity for the Philippines to “finally break through into the sunlight” after the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on the country’s economy.
“I know that this will succeed because it comes from the right place in his heart. It comes from the light place in all the big brothers’ hearts,” he said.
“It comes from a place that wants to help Filipinos, that wants to make the Philippines a better place, that wants to improve the lives of every Filipino,” he added.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the US Embassy in the Philippines, and all the other partners behind the event’s success.
“You are our reliable allies and partners in paving a richer path for collaboration and innovation in the business sector,” Marcos said.
In particular, the President said he was pleased that the focus of the MSME Summit, which is post-pandemic recovery and the promotion of digitalization, is aligned with the administration’s priorities.
“We have a common view of our shared future, the future that we as Filipinos will share together,” he said.
“This multidimensional approach will allow us to breathe new life into our MSMEs and help them move forward to a more resilient and prosperous future,” he added.
‘Circle of success’
For his part, Concepcion urged Filipinos to continue a circle of success where one would help others to become successful, and the latter would do the same for another.
“The circle of success is what we have to do. When you help people and make them successful, the same people will help others,” he said.
“If we continue that circle of success, then we will truly achieve an inclusive Philippines,” he added.
With this, the former adviser for the Duterte Administration urged financial institutions to help small businesses to succeed.
“To all our financial institutions, let us support our micro-entrepreneurs to succeed. Mentorship, money, and market are the basic formula for success,” Concepcion said.
“Hopefully, our financial community would step up and really reach out to help our MSMEs,” he added.
TOP MSME PAIN POINTS
Aside from the lack of financing and need for mentorship, Concepcion said the third painpoint he faced in meeting aspiring entrepreneurs is spotting someone who is not really cut out for entrepreneurship.
“Normally if I find that the person for now cannot be an entrepreneur, I would tell him just seek a job,” said Concepcion, who has mentored thousands of entrepreneurs in the country.
He noted that some of those aspiring to become entrepreneurs are quite talented and working professionals but they want to try their luck at business. While he would like to encourage them, Concepcion said he would instead tell them to go back to their job where they can be more successful.
He shared that that listening all the stories of Filipinos aspiring to become entrepreneurs, who are struggling to make their lives better could be like hearing a confession. “You feel relieved,” he said noting that these entrepreneurs are seeing hope.
“The hope is the one that gives them the will to continue, but at a certain point in time, if you realize that they’re at a dead end, you have to tell them that rather than finishing your working capital and your savings, go back and think. You know you want to encourage them but you just get the courage to them to the point that they will go back to their work,” he said. — Argyll Cyrus Geducos
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