Business survival rate in Surigao Norte –15%

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/26 Jan) – You might want to know this before  investing some money to open up a shop around here – businesses in Surigao del Norte only have a 15-percent chance of surviving.

With this staggering mortality rate, it may be wise for prospective businessmen to get into the trade well-prepared, according to Celestino L. Negapatan, director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the province.

DTI records show that in about 1,000 businesses registered in the last five years, only 150 returned for reaccreditation. Those that did not renew their licenses had apparently died out, either closing shop because of weak sales or bankruptcy, Negapatan said.

He said there are many factors that influence the weak business climate in the province.

One is that entrepreneurs often rush into business with very limited competencies. “Some of them even lacked of business sense,” the DTI provincial chief told MindaNews.

The slow economic activities in the province also affect the overall business viability of the province.

Worse, Negapatan said the ballooning unemployment rate in the province glaringly contributed to the slow pace of trade and commerce in Surigao del Norte.

“We have human resources that can produce economic benefits, but they are idle,” he said.

Anemic sales mean the return of investments (ROI) take longer, thus discouraging most traders to continue their venture, Negapatan added.

The good news is that not all businesses in Surigao del Norte went bankrupt.

Pawnshops, pharmacies, micro-lending, used clothing stores, among others, are doing well, Negapatan said.

These have drawbacks though – these kinds of shops are the tell-tale signs that many are poor.

“People go to pawnshops if they need money. Poor people easily get sick because of their dietary routines, often with the poor nutrition in the foods they take. People opt to buy ukay-ukay or used clothes than the new,” the DTI official said.

Of the thriving businesses in the province, nothing beats food-related enterprises in terms of income, DTI record show.

In the last 10 years, Surigao del Norte has been among those in the bottom in the poverty index, registering an average of 40-percent poverty incidence rate, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board’s Philippine Poverty Statistics. (By Roel N. Catoto/ MindaNews)