Businesses help public cope with financial downturn

In news of an economic nature, the recession has infiltrated every nook and cranny and it does not seem to be escaping anyone. But amidst the hard times there are a few businesses that are helping the public to better cope with the financial downturn. Marion Ali went looking but did not find very many willing or able cases… a true sign of the times.

Marion Ali, Reporting
There weren’t very many businesses that are offering incentives, or at least, not just yet. Most of the companies we visited were either not in a position to offer it or were not willing to reveal their Christmas plans. But one businessman who is and did not hesitate is Murli Mahitani, the man who owns the Marley outlet, Liberty Store.

Murli Mahitani, Owner, Liberty Store
“We try to give people more value for the money than anything else. If times are hard we understand, but then it’s also in your attitude. You get better quality, better price and chance of winning a scooter.”

While Enrique Rosado says he has no give-aways, he is offering credit incentives.

Enrique Rosado, Owner, ER Construction Supplies
“What we’re trying to do is giving them like one week or two weeks credit. Most people, even though they don’t have cash available the come in and say that they’re doing a job for someone and they won’t be until the end of the week or the end of the month. So we provide them with material and at the end of the month we collect our bills. We don’t raise the price for that but that’s what we’re doing to try and help them.”

Marion Ali
“Have you found that this encourages people to come and give you the business over your competitor?”

Enrique Rosado
“I think it does. I have people who come and they would come one day and three, four days after they come back for some more material. We need to give discounts because people, in these times right now, are shopping around.”

Perhaps the most interesting of them all is this newspaper ad by Atlantic Bank Limited. The bank is helping to ease the sting for customers by offering, among other things, discounted interest rates for an entire year. It’s an initiative that has triggered the Belize Chamber of Commerce to react.

Vanessa Peyrefitte, Marketing & Public Relations Officer, B.C.C.I.
“The recent initiative that they took, the credit relief program that they instituted recently I guess in relation to what’s going on with our economy and them trying to help out their customers and so we saw the advertisement in the newspaper and we wanted to congratulate them on that effort because it is something noble to do in these times.”

And for those other businesses that are also offering incentives in these times, the Chamber extends congratulations. Reporting for Channel Five, Marion Ali.