Businesses, whose revenues rely on customers based outside Bohol, are the ones facing the risk of closure in the next six months.

Businesses that are primarily reliant on customers based outside of Bohol (e.g. tourists, external domestic and foreign buyers) face the greatest risk of closure.

With inbound and outbound travel restrictions and difficulties in transporting goods from the province to outside customers, they will be the one who will likely lose out.

As earlier pointed out, the tourism sector is the one of those badly hit by the pandemic. Since March 2020, flights to and from Bohol have been cancelled. This led to severe losses in revenues in hotels, restaurants, and transport service providers.

Service establishments and retailers in Tagbilaran City are more vulnerable to business closure.

Half of the service establishments we surveyed said that they face the risk of closure in the next 6 months. On the other hand, 46.7% of retailers and 44.4% of manufacturers surveyed expressed the same.

What is alarming is that 28.6% of retailers and 11.4% of service establishments surveyed expressed that if the current business climate continues, they will be forced to close in a month or less.

Containing the spread of COVID-19 remains the top concern of businesses.

Businesses we surveyed asks the Tagbilaran City Government to prioritize the following in its COVID-19 response:

1. containing the spread of the virus

2. preparing the health care system

3. providing timely and accurate information on COVID-19

This finding becomes increasingly relevant with the surge of cases in Tagbilaran city in the last few days as shown below:

Businesses value health measures over and above financial measures.

Business establishments we surveyed said that they needed tax waivers, low interest credit lines or credit guarantees. They also said they need temporary unemployment programs to help displaced workers.

However, when asked to choose from a list of health and financial measures, businesses value health measures more. This includes the supply of personal protective equipments (PPEs), information on the spread and transmission of the virus, and clarity on the measures to control the health crisis.

To cope with the adverse effects of COVID-19, businesses initiated several changes in their operations.

Businesses we surveyed made significant changes in work arrangements by temporarily reducing employees (3 out of 10 businesses) and laying-off some workers (1 out of 10 businesses). To protect liquidity, businesses also decreased or controlled expenses and negotiated payment terms with creditors.

Interestingly, the pandemic pushed businesses to re-calibrate marketing strategies by increasing marketing efforts (25% of businesses) and developing new products or services (19%). Those with technical expertise resorted to online-selling during the lockdown.

Majority of businesses are negatively impacted by COVID-19

96.12% of of the 206 businesses operating in Tagbilaran City that we surveyed reported a significant decrease in sales.

Majority of them (57.58%) reported a decrease in sales by 51-100%. This means that several businesses had no revenues especially during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of temporary business closure.

This resulted to the temporary reduction of workers or employees. 91.26% of businesses surveyed reported a decrease in the number of workers by at least 25%.

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