Financial Support

Apr 22, 2020

Good day,

This is our 6th week working from home.

Fortunately, there are no new corona cases added and there are only 2 active cases on the island at the moment, that is very positive.

As I said in my previous blog, the lockdown measurements would probably be released a bit. Last Thursday, the government informed us that pool and garden maintenance companies could apply for an exemption permit to resume their activities.

Since then it is also allowed to exercise outside (walking, cycling only). Within certain hours, namely in the morning between 6 and 9 am and in the evening between 6 and 8 am. Even though the hours are limited it is very nice if you have been inside for so long and had (too) little exercise.

Unfortunately, we are not yet allowed to transport our stocks. But because of the widening of allowed movements, we have more hope that we can get an exemption permit for this soon. We have therefore requested this again. It would definitely help us in continuing our home production.

Last week, the government announced that financial support could be given to individuals who have lost their jobs due to the corona crisis, small self-employed persons who depend on the tourism industry and companies that have lost more than 25% of their turnover. The support should be used for paying the wages of the employees. This way, the government obliges the companies to keep their employees employed and that will result in less unemployed people. We think we can qualify for this and have therefore registered our company for this temporary financial support. This crisis is of course not completed within 2 weeks or after the lockdown. Every company should try to survive until tourism comes back to the island. Unfortunately, we must take into account that it can take three years before we receive the same number of tourists on the island again.

Apart from this, there is still production at home, also in a creative way to keep people busy for the company. For example, Lyda, a painter and part-time salesperson, will offer a painting course to our painters via WhatsApp. Two other part-time employees, Judith and Carmen, will translate parts of the website into Spanish and Papiamento. In this way everyone can make themselves useful for the company.

Serena has also launched a local offer to support the food bank. Because so many people (who normally work in the tourism industry) have now become unemployed, the demand for food packages has increased enormously. Serena has come up with a promotion to sell a certain number of Medium sized Chichi’s to customers on the island for 100 naf, of which 50 naf will be donated to the food bank. The first 4 have already been sold!

Another plus is that the first sales through our new online webshop are a fact. Let’s hope this picks up further and helps us overcome this crisis.

So on the positive side, there is time for other activities and developments.

Until next week.

Hermien Visscher
Office manager Serena’s Art Factory