How Covid-19 Outbreak Affects Businesses

  • How Covid-19 Outbreak Affects Businesses

    Is your business ready to face the potential challenges posed by Covid-19?

    Early this week, when pressed on how the government plans to address the potential challenges presented by the global coronavirus epidemic, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statements implied that they are still on a wait-and-see position. In an interview conducted by CNBC reporter Hadley Gamble during the Riyadh G-20 summit, Sec. Mnuchi was quoted as saying:

    “As of the present, it is difficult to make strong predictions on how the coronavirus will impact the U.S. economy.” “We will need another three or four weeks, to have a better idea of how the Covid-19 outbreak will affect the country.”

    Although there is only a small increase in the number of coronavirus cases that had spread outside of China, U.S. financial markets are anxious if the federal government will be able to face and prevent the possibility of an economic fallout.

    Apparently, finalization of the Phase 2 deal that would have ended the trade-war conflict between the U.S. and China has been stalled. The prolonged period by which Trump’s tariff sanctions are in effect, will likewise have a prolonged effect on retailers and manufacturers.

    Chinese aircrafts and sea vessels are currently barred from entering the U.S. as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19. Moreover, the halting of air and sea travel by other affected countries will have an impact on the tourism industry. This will in turn impact other businesses including hospitality service providers, retailers and lessors of commercial spaces.

    How the Covid-19 Outbreak has Affected Businesses in Other Asian Countries

    In Asian countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, the China Covid-19 outbreak has prevented or discouraged tourists from entering another country. Moreover, since locals have been warned about the dangers of getting exposed to the virus when in crowded or even in public spaces, businesses have been met with substantial decreases in consumer traffic and business patronage.

    As a result, many had reported sales that dropped by as much as 50 per cent, while some are expecting to experience an 80 percent drop during the next three months. The sharp decline has prompted many business owners to seek relief from rental costs. They are appealing to landlords and owners of shopping malls and lessors of other affected outlets, to give them 30% to 50% rental rebate for six months at the least.

    After all, rental fees make up a large proportion of their operational costs. They are also faced with the additional expenses in carrying out their social responsibilities in order to protect employees and the remaining customers who continue to patronize their establishment. They are hiring extra cleaners, providing masks and hand sanitizers, as well as have conducted staff training on good hygiene practices.

    Those are only examples of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, which nearly all countries will experience when reduced tourism and transport business activities take toll. Such effects suggest that rental businesses will likewise be affected, which makes proper rental properties management and preparation essential in facing such eventualities.

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