ANAMBRA State entrepreneurs have been urged to brace up to the life changing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic as their business activities stutter while the state government mulls over measures to restore order in the face of rising numbers of those infected by coronavirus.
The Chairman of The Dome Entertainment, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, in Abuja, Wednesday, issued a rallying cry to Anambra State citizens urging them not to let their republican spirit of self-help to be broken down by the debilitating impact of measures to check the coronavirus pandemic.
“Covid-19 challenges us to, once again, demonstrate that indomitable spirit of community, irrespective of governments at any level,” he said.
He called on entrepreneurs from the State, “many of whom have already done a lot by way of various forms of palliatives in their communities” to be part of the larger recovery process by supporting failing businesses in the state, due to the pandemic.
Promising to Iead the challenge, he said, “those that had given out personal loans to small businesses can do more by rescheduling the repayment plan. This will create a window for such businesses to recover and remain afloat.
“This has become necessary given the need for us to support our people and help the economy of our state to recover. I believe that this is as important as doling out palliatives.
“But while palliatives are temporary and therefore not sustainable, supporting micro, small and medium scale businesses to rebound after the Covid-19 shock is a more sustainable approach that will help business owners to regain balance and rebuild their households.
“The ripple effect of this is immeasurable. I believe that this is what the time calls for because the state government cannot do this alone.
“The opportunity created by this pandemic should bring out the best in us as entrepreneurs. Similarly, the dictum of “let no one leave a brother behind,” should be for us, a call to assist others to regain balance.
“We as entrepreneurs can do this by also standing as guarantors to micro, small and medium business owners; this is one great way to boost confidence and support our people in Anambra to recover from the impacts of Covid-19 disruptions.
Okonkwo noted that “the disruptions to the global economy brought about by the pandemic will be huge. The pandemic is already having a very devastating impact on Nigeria, including the well-being of Anambra.
“So far, it has drastically impacted on production and consumption, forced the closure of foreign and local travels and disrupted demand and supply chains.
“With the lockdown policies in Nigeria, the disruptions will continue, at least into the foreseeable future, to severely affect family incomes and result in the failure of businesses unless the state government introduces some form of stimulus package to keep all levels of businesses afloat.
“The shutdown of state economies also translates to loss of revenue to the state. The Anambra economy is propelled by robust self-entrepreneurship in micro, small and medium scale businesses.
“Unfortunately, the continuing disruptions by Covid-19 is impacting negatively on these businesses, such that some may go under and those that survive, could be considerably weakened.”