The business community is not very confident about Government’s ability to revitalise the country’s economy if the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert pressure on the economy.
This was revealed in a report prepared by Market Facts and Opinions (MFO) in collaboration with the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T.
In the report, titled “Topline Report: Wave 2 COVID-19 Business Outlook Study 2020,” it was asserted: “While satisfaction in the Government’s phased reopening plan is high, there is lower levels of confidence in the Government to sustain the economy and in the ‘Road to Recovery’ Team, as there is much doubt in the Government’s ability to effectively execute and deliver on strategies outlined.”
According to the MFO report, under 9 in 10 people noted their satisfaction (‘Very satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’) with the Government’s phased reopening plan for businesses. However, in light of events taking place in the global economy, just over a third (36 per cent) of the respondents were confident in the Government’s ability to put the right measures in place to help sustain the economy.
Moreover, only four in ten (40 per cent) expressed confidence in the ‘Road Map to Recovery’ Team’s ability to deliver a workable plan for the economy.
The report added that although there is generally a high awareness of the COVID-19 initiatives announced by the Government to support the economy, usage levels are relatively low.
The report disclosed that as life in the new normal continues and more businesses reopen their doors, uncertainty remains a key factor in the minds of business leaders. There also remains the threatening thought that potential economic consequences may be more damaging than the physical toll exacted.
The report argued: “Regardless of whether their businesses were deemed ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’ within the recent lockdown period, business leaders foresee revenue declines compared to their previous year of operation.”
It contended that this anticipated decrease, coupled with the expected adherence to newly-enforced hygiene protocols, have placed added pressure on already constrained sectors.
However, the MFO report indicated that businesses have since accepted these measures as a necessary part of protecting both employees and customers. It revealed that this “has simply become the way that businesses are run now.”