More small biz owners train to beat pandemic

More small biz owners train to beat pandemic

LAOAG CITY – Hundreds of small enterprises in the different towns of Ilocos Norte continue to hone their skills to adapt themselves to the new normal.

Behind them are a team from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) office under the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte and the Department of Trade and Industry who are pushing them to join the e-commerce and level up their knowledge and skills by undergoing seminar on basic entrepreneurship development.

“It has been a rough year for everyone especially our MSMEs but together, we will rise to the challenges of the new normal,” Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said on Friday as he reiterated the provincial government’s continued efforts to assist small businesses who are badly-hit by the pandemic.

This week, the MSME office held another round of seminars for 41 local entrepreneurs in the towns of Banna, Marcos, Paoay, Piddig, Badoc, and Solsona.

After attending the seminar, each of them received PHP5,000 worth of livelihood kits courtesy of the provincial government.

A similar seminar and livelihood kit distribution were also held on Thursday in the towns of Pasuquin, Burgos, Dumalneg, Pagudpud, and Pinili; and on Friday in the towns of Adams, San Nicolas, Vintar, Bangui, and Laoag City with a total of 69 beneficiaries.

Aside from the continuing seminar and livelihood kit distribution, the Ilocos Norte government is also offering interest-free loan assistance for small-time businesses as part of the recovery assistance program.

Under the “Microfinancing for Micro and Small Enterprises Most Affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic” program, qualified applicants whose businesses are still in operation can avail a working capital worth PHP10,000 to PHP200,000 with zero interest and payable in 12 months.

“The program will prioritize the “underprivileged” or startup businesses with an asset worth PHP300,000 below, followed by small and medium enterprises,” said Elma Gabriel, head of the MSME office on Friday.

To avail of the program, applicants are required to submit the following requirements: accomplished loan application form, one government-issued ID, proof of business address, barangay business certification and mayor’s permit, Department of Trade and Industry Registration, and latest financial statement or proof of income. (PNA

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