Ndjambula – 2017 proof to be challenging for businesses or SME’s depending on government funds

2016 in general was just a unique year in the sense that Namibia was facing an economic melt, not just in Namibia but the whole world was facing a down turn, we didn’t face a complete melt down but we kind of stop moving and that has impact on businesses all over the country and also for Swakopmund this was confirmed by Mr. Paul Tangeni Ndjambula the Executive Chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Swakopmund Branch.

“ Of course we all know that a lot of local people, also visitors from other towns and tourists from South Africa come to the coast but, they cut down on their budget for example people who normally plan to use N$15 000 have now down-scaled to N$10 000 this past festive season. So some of the businesses in Swakopmund won and some of them did not do so well, so it is not all who gloomed, I belief” said Ndjambula during an interview with namib times yesterday about the performance of businesses in Swakopmund over the festive season and 2016 financial year.
Ndjambula however said the main businesses who benefited from this past festive season were the hotels, restaurants and the retails e.g. supermarkets. “ Adding to that apart from the economic situation I know there was lesser business performance in the CBD because of the new shopping mall (Platz am Meer), but if you look at the plan of Swakopmund in general there is no more place at the south of Swakopmund because the town end at Alte Brucke Hotel so the CBD is moving towards the northern direction and that mall (Platz am Meer) came at the right place and on the right time , nice location and at a time of the festive season. But I think if that mall opened at a different time maybe some local businesses could have done worse, because now they had a compliment of 30 000 people coming to Swakopmund over the festive season” he said.
Ndjambula believes that the number of visitors this year have increased and he says every year the number of visitors to a town always increase and the only difference now is that visitors had to cut on their budget and that has implications on especially big hotels whereby people might prefer to book guesthouses instead of five star hotels. He further said that he believes street vendors might have been causalties and according to him he spoke to a few vendors and 90% of them didn’t do well because they are on the end of the visitors budgets. Even if visitors bought their products they always end up negotiating for a price which means they still sell but the profit margin is lower. “I also spoke to a number of hotels and they did very well and some of the hotels adjusted the prices for locals so that they don’t lose out” he adds.
The current financial year might also proof to be a bit challenging especially for businesses or SME’s who are depending on the government, because we all know that we had to revise the budget and cut down on spending and “I do not think it will just go away overnight and business people need to understand that we are living in a global village. It is a new year and we need to be positive and realistic so people have to change their way of doing business, give more value for money. If you have a restaurant make sure that your customer service are polished so that customers can keep on coming back” he said. He also said business owners need to look at cutting unnecessary costs for their businesses and only when those mechanisms are put in place will they be able to take it to the next season without you losing too much. “Business owners also need to be innovative and listening to clients, because customer service is one of the things we need to improve in this country and I think we have the potential of having a good year this year and we all need to work together” he concluded.

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