You own a small business, and the corona virus is at your doorstep. Why your government is behind you – too far behind!
Point 1: There is one clear advantage to lockdown and isolation. You receive a rare opportunity in our 24/7 society to think and ….. to listen. You can reflect on what you have got right and wrong, and how you can make a positive difference. once things are back to normal.
Point 2: Name the country and SMEs – small or medium sized enterprises – comprise about 95% of the economy.
Yesterday, Thursday, the UK announced a series of wide-ranging measures to help the owners of small businesses. Some statutory payments will be waivered. Money will be put into the enterprises. And most loans will be interest free.
All fantastic. However, most of the key benefits will only kick in from the month of June!
Over the pond in Washington, Trump’s men are preparing a US$2 trillion package. Great, and this calls for money for the SMEs. However, there are few concrete or practical details how this will impact or when on small commercial operations.
In Israel, we have been promised a set of measures for most of the past week. So far, the only true policy to have been implemented is a massive loan programme. It has been so successful that thousands have already applied, including those who do not really need the safety net.
How the system will evaluate the really needy cases and rapidly, I have no idea. And many of the loans will require interest to be paid. Ouch again.
So what help do people need? I take myself as an example. I have a small office, in a building owned by one of the richest families in the country.
I asked for a reduction in the rent. My request was refused, politely but firmly. I guess they need the money to finance the construction of yet more offices opposite where I am located! They did offer to delay some of the payments, but this does not really help when you do the long-term maths of a cash flow chart.
Bottom line: I am currently paying full rent in Jerusalem for a premise that I cannot use.
Last night, we learnt in Israel that the Prime Minister had just locked up his short term political future. That means he can continue to sleep at night in his rent-free premises, but not in lockdown. And he is about to appoint a new Finance Minister, who has no obvious track record in business or in helping the community.
Is anybody listening? Does anyone know how to listen?