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Small businesses fearful of what 2022 will bring

By Duc Minh   December 13, 2021 | 03:15 am PT
Small businesses fearful of what 2022 will bring
Cafes and restaurants in HCMC have been allowed to function normally since late October, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Despite managing to cope with the impacts of Covid-19 so far, many small and medium-sized enterprises are worried about the likely difficulties awaiting them next year.

They have four major concerns: pandemic threat, higher input costs, tightened consumer spending, and lack of support from the government.

"New virus variants can appear, posing a risk of a new wave of the pandemic," Le Duy Anh, general director of wood furniture maker Xuan Hoa in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, said.

Many businesses are also worried that if supply chains do not fully recover, prices of feedstock and other inputs would continue to increase, he said.

"I hope prices have already reached their peak as some items like steel have seen a decline. If prices rise further, it will become too difficult for enterprises".

With incomes taking a hit and fears of further price hikes, consumers have tended to tighten their purse strings, making it difficult for businesses like eateries to recover.

Dominic Vu, chairman of the Alliance for Small and Medium Enterprises, said, "Small-scale service providers will meet with difficulties, even major difficulties, in the first six months of 2022."

Small and medium-sized enterprises said support policies for them such as reduction or waiver of taxed have not been good enough.

Vu said administrative procedures should be simplified and demand stimulus programs should be carried out next year.

A recent survey of 3,440 enterprises by the Private Economic Development Research Board and VnExpress found 56 percent saying prices of inputs are too high, 43 percent saying demand is low, 41 percent saying Covid testing costs are unaffordable, and 30 percent saying it is difficult to hire workers.

However, despite the uncertainty, many businesses are determined to live with the pandemic, Nguyen Cong Lam, director of An Van Thinh Food Company in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, said.

 
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