Two years into the pandemic, owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines are optimistic about future economic and business growth prospects and plan to expand this year. However, many highlight a gap between how well protected they are and the risks they currently face.
These were among the findings in the Sun Life Business Growth and Resilience Index, which was created to understand better how confident business owners feel about their growth prospects and how resilient their business is in this highly uncertain environment.
The index is based on a Sun Life survey of around 2,400 SME business owners in seven Asian markets: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines (338), Singapore and Vietnam in late 2021. In the Philippines, the following sentiments surfaced:
The Sun Life Business Growth Index analyzes the sentiment of business owners toward the general economic situation and their financial position and growth plans in 2022. It found Filipino business owners are optimistic about growth prospects in 2022, with a score of 67 out of 100, compared with 65 for Asia overall.
Industries including mining (92), electronics (74), and manpower and security services (72) are highlighted as especially positive.
“Considering the many challenges they’ve had to face in this pandemic, it’s great to see business owners looking to the future with hope,” Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. President Alex Narciso said. “They likewise acknowledge that they are vulnerable to certain risks as they strive to move forward. Knowing this will help them plan their next steps properly.”
The Sun Life Resilience Index is based on business owners’ perceptions of the severity of 15 business risks and their preparedness for these. It found Filipino business owners feel they have a borderline level of resilience with a score of 56 out of 100, compared with 55 for Asia overall.
According to the survey, pandemic and health-related risks are the most severe challenge for Filipino business owners. However, less than half of the respondents used risk mitigation tools to build resilience to health risks. Only 43% of respondents have personal health and accident insurance, 31% had employee health and accident insurance, and just 10% had key man insurance in place.
“Health risk protection remains a gap. Addressing this would lead to greater resilience, security, and ultimately, peace of mind,” Narciso said. “Sun Life can be their partner in this pursuit with our Sun Future Proof program.”
Designed especially for business owners, Sun Future Proof is a two-pronged program that brings together financial education and financial solutions.
“This combination can help build greater resilience,” Narciso said. “It will help them navigate the uncertain environment, achieve their growth ambitions, and set the stage for their business’ brighter future.”
Those interested to know more about the Sun Future Proof program are encouraged to talk to their Sun Life advisor or connect with one via https://bit.ly/advisormatch.