45 businesses in the country shrank during the coronavirus pandemic as entrepreneurs were forced to utilise their savings to survive, revealed a new survey of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).
Shortage of customers, shutdown of business entities, transport crisis, marketing problem, slumps in customers’ income, sliding product prices along with rise in raw materials’ price were the other key reasons for the squeeze, according to the survey released on Thursday.The quick survey released Thursday shows that 45 entrepreneurs had to spend from their saving during the pandemic period while another 39 percent had to borrow for the survival.
23 percent entrepreneurs had to sell products with a thin profit margin and 16 percent entrepreneurs had to find out alternative jobs.
PKSF revealed the findings at a virtual webinar on the impacts of coronavirus pandemic on micro-entrepreneurs and their livelihood.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud connected to the event as chief guest while PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided over a session titled ‘Foundation’s contribution during pandemic.’
PKSF deputy managing director Md Fazlul Kader revealed the findings. Managing Director Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah was also present at the event.
Citing General Economics Division (GED) data, PKSF officials mentioned that the rate of poverty reached to 29.5 percent in 2020 from 20 percent during the pandemic even though the country has kept progress in other indicators of SDGS. During the pandemic, around 53 percent entrepreneurs experienced shortage of customers in market while 38 percent respondents mentioned the challenges of transportation during this time. As the corona pandemic hit the economy, the market prices were fallen significantly according to 21 percent businesses while 16 percent entrepreneurs opted for alternative professions for survival.PKSF researchers recommended for executing stimulus packages timely alongside alternative market development formaintaing the growth in businesses.
As a wayout from the crisis, 62 percent entrepreneurs stressed on bailout while 61 percent respondents suggested developing e-commerce or alternative market. Some 53 percent businesses seek credit with flexible condition, according to the findings. From stimulus announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, government allocated Tk 5 billion against PKSF to keep up its field-evel activities. Of which, Tk 2.5 billion has been disbursed among the micro-entrepreneurs and availability of the remaining fund is under process, PKSF officials informed.
PKSF deputy managing director Md Fazlul Kader said they had paused collection of loan installment from 11 million customers during the extreme situation of corona.