Business registry booms as pandemic forces turn to entrepreneurship

REUTERS

BUSINESS NAME registrations in the first quarter are well ahead of their year-earlier pace, approaching the halfway mark of the full-year 2020 total, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the number of registrations in the first three months totaled 432,962, nearly half of the full-year total posted in pandemic-depressed 2020 of 916,163.

“Due to the economic challenges wrought by the present pandemic, we’ve seen that there is a need to be more innovative in the way we do things. Many of our countrymen have adapted to the challenging times through entrepreneurship,” Mr. Lopez said in an online event Wednesday.

Business registrations in 2019 totaled 637,580.

“We are also seeing a complementing boom in e-commerce adoption,” Mr. Lopez said.

Businesses have turned to online selling after the government imposed the lockdown last year, lowering foot traffic in malls and other commercial centers.

Online business registrations since the start of 2021 have surpassed 9,000.

Last year, online business registrations surged past 80,000 compared to around 6,000 from 2018 to 2019, Mr. Lopez said.

Small businesses however continue to be affected by the pandemic. The number of small businesses applying for loans from the government remained lower than expected as weak business confidence may have dampened interest in taking on loans, Mr. Lopez said earlier this month. — Jenina P. Ibanez