Business confidence survey to help gauge state of economy

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 07 January 2021, 6:00PM

Results from an annual survey conducted by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce are expected to provide a good idea of where the nation’s economy stands after a volatile year impacted by the state of emergency, the pandemic and flooding.

Information collected from the survey will serve as a compass in moving forward after what has been a volatile year for businesses in Samoa and across the world.

Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) for the Chamber, Lemauga Hobart Vaai said they are doing their best to support local businesses and all that they could do in response to the challenges of 2010 is adapt.

“Businesses need to adapt, this is the challenge across the entire globe. We are doing our best in our capacity to support them. With the flooding the immediate feedback we received was for restoration of our infrastructure and utilities to which government responded immediately,” he said.

“Also we need to do more in supporting our business community to be more resilient with climate change, we will be advocating for more opportunities to assist our businesses large or small as they are all affected by these adverse conditions.”

The Chamber he said looks forward to the results of their annual Business Confidence Survey which will take more than a month to complete.

Business owners are encouraged to complete the survey.

“[I]n terms of assistance, we look forward to results from the upcoming Business Confidence survey. [The] Chamber speaks to the government and donors with the results from the survey so we encourage the business community to complete it. It's a big process which takes over a month to complete,” said Lemauga.

In 2021, the mindset at the Chamber is to keep seeking support for the business community.

“[The] mindset is to keep seeking support for the business community, whether it's from government or external donor programmes, we'll look at anything to support our businesses from all sectors to stay afloat and to operate and adapt in these challenging circumstances. So we are constantly on the lookout for opportunities, it’s a never ending process for us,” added Lemauga.

The Chamber is discussing a number of workshops and products with its regional partners for the New Year.

Las year, they traveled to Savai’i to take their assistance to the rural villages.



“We have innovation and digital workshops coming up and some exciting products we are discussing with regional donors, we encourage our young entrepreneurs to join us. Get connected with the Chamber.  Last year we hit the road in Savaii and rural villages so again please look out for our activities,” said Lemauga.

“[The] Chamber supports businesses across all sectors – hotels, farmers, restaurants owners, big corporates, small stall holders, young entrepreneurs. Every business matters to us. So we try our best to support them.”

He said “the issues in terms of policy will depend on the movements of the government.”

“Chamber responds to current issues faced by businesses so we have to adapt to whatever is coming through the government pipeline. We still have the challenges of TIMS, Business support, Liquor ACT that we are liaising with government officials. New year and new challenges – our challenge is to be prepared to respond and give government quality data and feedback from the business community to advocate for our businesses large or small in this challenging environment” said Lemauga.

The Chamber of Commerce plans to resume members meetings in February.

 “We are looking at resuming our members meeting in February. God willingly, the State Of Emergency rules will allow us to have our open forums again. At Our members meeting we always have an excess of 100+ business leaders attend so we have had to lead by example and stick to the rules hence no meetings since early 2020,” Lemauga said.

The Chamber has no count of how many businesses shut down in 2020.

They learned of closed businesses through the media.

“Only what's been reported in the media. Members don't generally inform us they are closing, they only tell us what they need or challenges for our support and mediation with relevant government officials,” Lemauga said.

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 07 January 2021, 6:00PM

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