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PamCham to shepherd micro bizs to recovery 

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PamCham director Rene Romero presents the biz organization’s “Shepherd a Micro Business” mentorship program at the News@Hues forum, Park Inn by Radisson Clark. Photo by Bong Lacson 


 

CLARK FREEPORT – The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham) has crafted a “shepherding” intervention to offer opportunities for the micro business sectors to restart and boost their recovery from the economic fallout wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Presented at the News@Hues media forum of the Pampanga Press Club at the Park Inn by Radisson Clark on Tuesday, the “Shepherd a Micro Business” is a full mentorship program of the PamCham committee on economic development to help the micro enterprise owners restart and grow their business with a sustainable entrepreneurial strategy.

PamCham former president and current director Rene Romero said they are seeking 10 local micro business owners “with passion, determination, and dedication for a full-scale, one-on-one mentorship program by its director or member of its chamber.”

With established criteria, Romero added, they will look into the micro entrepreneurs through the list of businesses registered in the province through the Department of Trade and Industry, local cooperatives, as well as “underground businesses.” 

“Nakaisip kami ng isang programa na tulungan ang mga negosyante dito at paramihan natin sila. We are already in collaboration with our government agencies but we want to have a unique program that we can call our own. Kapag nakita namin na kaya namin yung 10, baka pwede nang 100 next year,” said Romero.

“We will choose which will be our beneficiaries. Hahanapin namin yung may passion, determination. Napakalaki din ng underground business – yung hindi lisensyado, hindi nagbabayad ng taxes. Tutulungan namin sila sa requirements ng government. If we are not going to upgrade their value and elevate their standards for them to be successful,l they remain underground and not pay taxes,” Romero added. “In a way, we are also helping the government.” 

Based on the 2020 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority, 99.51 percent of the business enterprises operating in the country are MSMEs while 0.49 percent comprises the large enterprises. The micro industry constitutes 88.77 percent of the total MSME establishments followed by small enterprises at 10.25 percent and medium enterprises at 0.49 percent.

The geographical demographic for Central Luzon comprises 11.68 percent where the regional concentration of MSMEs is largely associated with economic activity and population size. A total of 62.66 percent of the country’s total employment rate is generated from MSMEs

Romero said that PamCham envisions the program for its beneficiaries to “start small and grow from there.” He also shared that the “shepherding” program will help the members of the chamber on their corporate social responsibility as their contribution in nation building.

Romero noted that the full-scale mentorship program will have a complete mentor-to-mentee guidance to seek its full potential to grow. The micro business owners, he furthered, will have to record and account their daily business activities, such as transaction records and challenges which will be reviewed by the mentor as they plan to bring forth real entrepreneurs through knowledge sharing and experience.

Financial assistance can also be offered under a payment schedule through monthly amortization between the mentor and the mentee based on business needs.

“Hindi lang siya ime-mentor, ika-counsel, aalalayan siya from a micro business until ma-reach yung success nya. Hindi titigil si shepherd na iga-guide, aalalayan, na siya ay lumaki. In this case, micro enterprise ang tatargetin natin that has the potential to grow kasi sila ang tinamaan nang sobra noong pandemic,” he said.

Romero hopes that other organizations will replicate the mentorship program as it can have a ripple effect towards recovery and progress through continuing business development including the generation of job opportunities that can help boost the economy in the province. 

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