Ayala launches pandemic recovery program for 250,000 SMEs
MANILA, Philippines – The Ayala group, one of the largest and oldest conglomerates in the country, launched a program to help its 250,000 small and medium enterprises (SME) partners to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the Ayala Enterprise Circle (AEC), SMEs can gain access to the Ayala group's offerings, expert mentorship from industry leaders, online dialogues and classes, as well as matching and co-marketing opportunities.
"Today's times are certainly unprecedented and very challenging for enterprises of all sizes, much especially for our SMEs who have always been critical players in our country's economy.... We realized that now, more than ever, do we need to accelerate our efforts to proactively reach out to you," said Ayala Corporation chairman and chief executive officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala during his welcome address at AEC's webinar.
SMEs and micro businesses comprise 60% of the total annual revenues of all Philippine businesses, contribute 35% of the country's gross domestic product, and employ 63% of working Filipinos, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. (READ: 'Sariling diskarte': The heavy impact of lockdown on micro, small businesses)
So far, the Ayala group has helped SMEs through P766 million worth of free services and waived business operations fees.
This amount includes the P280 million worth of waived rent in April and May.
Its banking arm, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), deferred loans for up to 90 days for companies to manage their cash flows during the lockdown.
BPI is also working with the Philippine Guarantee Corporation "to refine its loan products for qualified clients."
"Through Ayala Enterprise Circle, we hope to forge even deeper partnerships with our SME network as we move forward together into the 'new normal,'" said John Philip Orbeta, Ayala Corporation's chief human resource officer.
Despite its massive size, the group also suffered from the pandemic's impact. Ayala Corporation reported a net income of P6.7 billion during the 1st quarter, 17% lower than in the same period last year, dragged down by its property, banking, and industrial businesses.
Revenues fell by 11% to P61.7 billion during the 1st quarter. – Rappler.com