Most businesses affected by Covid-19 yet to receive any government assistance: poll
The great majority of respondents (88 per cent) to a poll said they have yet to receive aid from the government.
The results of the poll conducted by the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council (NESDC) on the effects of the Covid-19 situation on the business sector was published on Tuesday (April 21).
The poll was conducted from April 9-14 with 8,929 respondents from 77 provinces nationwide.
Around 88 per cent, or 7,894 respondents, which included employers, self-employed and unemployed persons said that they had not received any aid from the government while only 12 per cent, or 1,035, said they had already received the help.
Around 67 per cent, or 5,407 respondents, are aware of the government’s assistance packages but have yet to receive them, while around 22 per cent, or 1,718 respondents, are not aware of the measures. Around 4 per cent, or 279 respondents, said they had already applied for the aid and are awaiting a reply.
Of those who had received aid from the government, 48 per cent said the measures were inadequate, 24.9 per cent said that they would be adequate for three months, 7.9 per cent said they would be adequate for 3-6 months, and only 4.2 per cent said that the aid would be adequate for more than six months.
The NESDC also suggested the government to further help the business sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic as follows:
▪︎ Offer cost of living reduction campaigns such as power, water and telephone bills, child tuition fees for affected parents and tax breaks in 2020 and 2021.
▪︎ Order financial institutions to use the same conditions for postponement of debt repayment so that borrowers can apply for the programmes with least obstacles.
▪︎ Provide low-interest loans (soft loans) to both individual and corporate customers who have been affected by the Covid-19 situation.
▪︎ Expand the scope of aid measures to cover all groups of people in all professions, such as elders, merchants, construction workers and those who have no access to online registration.