Thursday 25 February 2021
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newtimes - 2 days ago

EDITORIAL: Local businesses depend on public support for recovery

A common question raised by a large section of the public whenever institutions such as the National Bank of Rwanda present findings of the state of the economy, is when the economy will recover. On Tuesday, February 23, Kigali-based restaurants and hotels opened their doors to sit-in customers for the first time in slightly over a month. While they cannot fill their properties with clients as they have to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines, the development is comes as a huge relief to many.  Over the past months, reduced operating hours, social distancing and limitations to sit-in clients have significantly reduced the revenue of the hospitality businesses with some having to close down as they couldn’t keep the lights on. In some instances, the hospitality sector has been unable to keep their employees due to a significant drop in revenue which left firms struggling to stay afloat. The effects have impacted on the value chain with farmers also seeing a decline in demand for their produce as restaurants reduced the supplies as there were fewer clients to serve. This not only affected farmers but also other players in the value chain including transporters. With the gradual reopening of some sectors of the economy, however, members of the public can play a role in supporting the recovery of heavily hit sectors by being their clientele. Support to local enterprises will allow them to maintain their employees, revive supply chains, and support producers, such as farmers. With the central bank projecting that domestic economic recovery is expected to continue in 2021, largely supported by policy interventions to revive business activity, the general public can also play their role by supporting local businesses. This, coupled with initiatives like domestic tourism, will enable the country’s most affected sectors to stay afloat, retain their employees and avoid closing shop.


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