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Editorial | Small and helpless

The indefinite shutting down of operations of Marco Polo Hotel Davao has elicited some sentimental comments circulating on social media even from those who have not stepped into its large lounge.

The outpouring of support is understandable because the hotel represents what the city has achieved as a place for tourists as it was the first hotel in the city to carry the five-star rating from the Department of Tourism as well one of the few to carry a foreign brand.

The impact of the virus on the industry is massive, to say the least.

But what has not been noticed, and where there was no outpouring of support, was the closure of small businesses like the ambulant vendors who were supposed to have a better income during the graduation rites in April, but had to pack their goods because graduation and other school activities were scrapped.

Others were those who were dependent on the passers-by for their incomes of the day.

Some of these vendors failed to qualify for any of the grants that the government has laid out for the so-called poorest of the poor even if many of them were really on a hand-to-mouth existence.

This is not to say that the big business establishments need no support to recover, but the government should focus its charity arm on these small businesses, unlike the owners of the hotel who have deep pockets and can source their initial capital for recovery from financial institutions, these people do not have anywhere to run to for help.

They need their government now more than ever.

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