Recently, PROSEEDASIA, an acceleration consultancy nurturing startups and budding businesses in ASEAN with friendship, mentoring, and access to funding, held an event with a panel discussion on the impact of the Covid19 pandemic. The group consisted of (from left to right) Steve Harrop, the CEO at Exmant and Founder of BudgetBusinessTravel.com, Pacharee Pantoomano, Managing Director of BrandNow.asia, Lawrence Chaney, the Managing Partner of GPS Legal, Kris Withouck, the General Manager of Vitalo Packing Thailand, and Mike Darnell (not pictured), the MD of Vimi.co shared their insights into the discussion.
During the conversation, Kris related that the orders have remained consistent for Vitalo. This is due to the placing of the order at the start of the year. However, he anticipates that certain sectors will be affected by the pandemic, which will result in reduced orders from these companies. Hence, the effects of Covid19 will be inevitable.
According to Steve, “In the travel business, almost all customers’ trips are being interrupted due to the pandemic. Flights are getting canceled, and border restrictions are being put in place around the world. The airlines’ refund process can take up to 45 days, and this is causing financial distress to some travelers. At this time, we are providing 24/7 service to our clients. We are ensuring that our client care team who assisting with getting full and immediate refunds upon confirmation of the cancellation or assisting with rescheduling travel dates.”
“People are now spending more time at home. There is also social distancing. This has impacted retailers and restaurants. Our projects in these areas have been put on hold. For other clients, we’re are re-focusing with them and doing more online. Moreover, we have been productive in creating new products, updating our website, trying new tools, and adopting new software,” Pacharee added to the discussion.
Lawrence Chaney, the Managing Partner of GPS Legal, shared, “The market slowdown has employers in Thailand reducing their employees’ time and wage. To do this, they must file for permission under Labor Law Section 75 to reduce employees’ income to 75%. On a separate note, the Thai Government declared the Covid19 as a severe infectious disease. This means that if you know someone has contracted the Covid19 virus, you are obligated to report them to the authorities within 3 hours. Charges could be brought against you for failure to do so.”
Since Covid19 was first reported in December 2019, the virus spread exponentially. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid19 to be a global pandemic affecting more than 1,000,000+ of the population. Most countries have initiated a partial to a total shutdown to minimize the spread of the virus.
To minimize the impact on the economy, it will take the concerted effort of the people, government, and agencies. Governments globally are helping companies, via grants/loans, to preserve jobs and keep companies afloat. In some cases, the government is paying the wages of people who cannot work. Other measures have included relief on mortgages, rents, utilities, and taxes.
£66.5B stimulus packages to date including tax cuts and the state will pay up to 80% of the wages of workers laid off
$220B stimulus package equal to 20% GDP
USA (the $2 trillion (10% of GDP) package)
$377B loans to small businesses (to be forgiven if workers are retained)
$500B loans to large businesses (including the aviation sector)
$604B cash payments to individuals up to $1200
$340B to states and local government to fight COVID19
$180B public and health services
The government announced the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to help keep Australians in jobs, part of a larger package totaling $320 billion or 16 percent of annual GDP.
The payments will be made direct to companies to keep workers on the books.
Eligible companies will be paid $3000 per month per worker.
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PROSEED is an acceleration consultancy nurturing selected Bangkok startups and budding businesses in ASEAN with friendship, mentoring and access to funding, in order to increase opportunity and develop a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.