Supplies, customers, service contracts lost; mobility and connection problems; prices of raw materials and transport going up; maintenance and rental costs, as well as basic bills… these are just some of the obstacles that Cuba’s small business owners are navigating right now.
Like everywhere else in the world, the crisis that has been induced in Cuba by COVID-19, transcends health and is once again challenging politics, society and the economy, like never before.
Still emerging and with just a decade of existence, Cuba’s private sector has filed requests for over 139,000 temporary suspensions of business licenses: 22% of the approximately 605,000 self-employed in the country [which lumps together a shoe repair person, a restaurant owner, a plumber, an Airbnb landlord and a used clothes vender].
The pandemic’s aftershocks have hurt over 26,000 renters, over 500 Airbnb experience hosts and over 52,000 drivers, according to statistics presented by Vladimir Regueiro, first vice-minister of Finances and Prices, on TV, which were cited by a report that AUGE just published.
“Private enterprise in Cuba. A COVID-19 positive patient”,” written up by this consultancy agency (AUGE), which has been offering consultancy services for the creation and management of businesses ever since 2014, explains why Cuban business owners are facing their biggest threat since the government authorized their private ventures in 2010.