Over the next two weeks various business groups and government agencies, principally local governments and the Department of Trade and Industry will be celebrating the annual Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Week. That said, MSME week matters to many of us in Mindanao because most of our island’s enterprises are in this category- the backbone of our economy.
In the past, this week was celebrated with trade fairs and seminars. This year will be a memorable one, as I am noticing new online trainings for business growth and marketing skills that can help MSMEs innovate and adapt to the new normal business environment and take advantage of the burgeoning online trade.
More importantly, being online, the MSME week’s activities allow an even wider audience to partake of these skills. In particular, the online mentoring of existing businesses will be helpful. With recent boosts in new online business registrations in many regions, these online activities will be a big help.
Furthermore, it is therefore necessary to highlight how many major economic reforms over the last few years positively impact our MSMEs, such as:
The Innovation Act of 2018. This law institutionalizes innovation and one of its manifestations is the formation of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers in the regions that marshal the expertise of different government agencies and academic institutions to spur innovation in local businesses, which will play a vital role in providing new technology-based options and innovations for local businesses.
The Revised Corporation Code
The revised corporation code now contains provisions for one and two person corporations that allow more people to form corporations to formalize their business ventures in a manner that separates personal assets from business related ones.
The TRAIN and CREATE Laws. These important tax reforms exempt more from personal income taxes, in the case of the TRAIN Law and in the case of the CREATE Law, has lowered corporate income taxes to make our levels comparative with our ASEAN neighbors. With new incentive reforms, this can encourage business expansion especially for countryside businesses.
Infrastructure reforms and connectivity improvements. Wider intercity roads, better ports and airports and yes, better internet we have through telco expansions by existing and new players all help to improve connectivity for these businesses.
The challenge and, yes, opportunity lies in harnessing these recent reforms to bolster our local enterprises and make these more competitive. Strengthened partnerships between DTI Regional Offices, other agencies and local governments, schools and business groups will be helpful to maximize the impact of these reforms.
We, including you as the consumer should all encourage our MSMEs to expand and grow further by buying their products and helping them promote to new markets.
As it is with the economy, the measure for businesses should be seeing the rate with which it how it grows over time, not just how much money is made at a certain point in time. When these MSMEs grow, the backbone it is grows as well, adding more jobs and opportunity is achieved, and the economy recovers and grows.
Davao based logistics and freight company JRMT enterprises recently launched its daily over land cargo to bring freight from Davao to Manila and vice versa. It also launched new hubs in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, enabling it to be an end-to-end logistics provider for many local MSMEs seeking to break into new markets in various cities on the island, and in Metro Manila.
Continue to stay safe and stay vigilant against the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
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