Restrictions necessary for the safety of all citizens but nonetheless affecting major businesses down to informal sector stalls and the livelihoods of many.
The majority of Papua New Guineans are resilient by nature and part of the middle bracket, Micro-Small-Medium Enterprises or MSME’s but tough times are affecting everyone.
Des Yaninen, MSME Council President says, “As a result, many people in the upper to middle class are seeing a lot of their relatives who used to be independent before. These people had means of survival that are no longer available. So we see the flow on effect that the small people who are not able to operate, they are becoming a burden to everyone else.”
Recently taking over as Council President at a crucial point in time, Yaninen stressed, “The Council has prioritized working with government and other stakeholders on how best to support this sector survive the Coronavirus crisis.”
“What we are doing right now during the whole COVID-19 slow down, we are aggressively advocating for the survival of the MSME. MSME’s are struggling, many of them are closing daily now, it’s a daily occurrence to see businesses shutting down, to see businesses laying people off.” Yaninen said.
The Council is setting up a database, importing data from other smaller associations and will embark on a registration drive to impact, as many MSME’s as possible.
Yaninen says, “Basically everyone in PNG who runs a small business of any kind whether your Micro, Small, Medium, you are a default member of the MSME Council. The only thing that we need is for you to register. Just fill the form. The Council has decided to waive all registration fees for 2020.”