While uncertainty is always a factor in global work, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges. Small businesses have been hit especially hard by restrictions.
For years FARMS International has helped Christians grow small businesses into sustainable sources of income through microcredit loans. In turn these businesses support their communities and the local church. But as with many small businesses this year, some FARMS programs have faced challenges with the pandemic.
However, FARMS continues to support and train small business owners from afar and through the local church. And against all odds some programs continue to grow. For instance, rural agricultural and livestock businesses generally are doing well. A few have seen the price of their goods drop as economies struggle to keep up with the pandemic, but overall their products are still in demand.
However, programs that depend on face-to-face consumers are struggling, and have been for months.
Scott Clifton, Executive Director with FARMS International says, “Even as restrictions lift in some places, there’s still this fear that we might be hiring the person who’s going to bring COVID to our family, and that type of thing. And because of that fear, it’s really difficult for day laborers still.”
FARMS entrepreneurs who work in cities are finding it especially challenging to keep their businesses afloat. If they own a bicycle taxi for instance, they are having a hard time finding customers. Fewer people are traveling or are willing to be in close contact with someone else. Clifton says that the same holds for other day laborers like carpenters or people who do housework.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray that God would give wisdom to FARMS International as they consider new loans.
- Join FARMS financially and help support Christian entrepreneurs around the world.
- Pray that FARMS loan recipients would be able to find work.