Helping to reopen small businesses in Mexico

Funding required: $25,000

This project will help: 46 families from 12 Compassion centres

Estimated completion date: January 2022

Country: Mexico

Executive summary

In Mexico, more than one million small- to medium-sized businesses have closed permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these businesses are owned and run by families and are their only source of livelihood. After months without any income, families lost all their savings and fell deeper into debt. In desperation, some began pawning or selling off their possessions—even their most basic household items—just to survive.

Compassion serves in some of Mexico’s most vulnerable communities, where the ravages of the pandemic have been especially severe. In rural and more remote areas, families often subsist on agriculture by farming and selling their crops. While the national government has implemented some relief programs for businesses, many in these more vulnerable regions do not qualify for support. Losing hope of reopening their businesses, families began migrating to other parts of the country where they might stand a better chance of getting jobs and rebuilding their lives. Unfortunately, in the midst of this upheaval many children have had to drop out of school and leave their Compassion centres for good.

Now that restrictions are easing in some areas, businesses are allowed to reopen. With infections still on the rise in some areas, it is critical for business owners to be able to operate safely with protective protocols in place. However, the costs of implementing these protocols are beyond what business owners can manage after going so long without revenue.

Twelve Compassion centres across Mexico identified 46 families in need of support as they try to reopen their small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. With your help, these small businesses will receive supplies, COVID-19 preventive materials and professional small business training, as well as payment for electricity bills so they can start operating again and support their families.

Did you know?

UNICEF estimates that as many as 142 million children across the world will be pushed into poverty due to the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. You can help children and their families recover from this devastating crisis and build a brighter future for themselves and others.

Summary

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact in vulnerable communities across Mexico. Many families who were already living on the brink of poverty have been pushed into desperate need. In response to the pandemic, the government limited commercial activity, causing small businesses to close. Small business owners in many of these communities do not qualify for government aid, which has been aimed at corporate establishments and larger businesses. Without income and heavily in debt, families are pawning or selling off even their essential household items to pay their bills. In order to reopen successfully during the pandemic, businesses are required to implement safety protocols such as enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices and the use of face masks and protective gear. However, after months without income, many of these small, family-run businesses just can’t afford the additional cost. Many are giving up and moving to other areas in search of work. Children are uprooted from their local Compassion centres and are at high risk of dropping out of school permanently.

The need

Compassion’s church partners in Mexico work in some of the country’s most vulnerable communities where the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe. In rural and more remote areas, many business owners make a living growing and selling produce. Others sell prepared food items such as bread, tortillas and desserts. Local pandemic restrictions have forced many to close their businesses indefinitely, and government relief has only been made available to larger and more established businesses. In desperation, many families are migrating to other parts of the country to find jobs. This forces children to drop out of school and their Compassion centres, leaving them without access to holistic care and putting their futures at risk.

You can help 46 caregivers and business owners from 12 Compassion centres in Mexico recover their livelihood by successfully restarting their small businesses. Caregivers will receive professional coaching and entrepreneurship training that covers topics such as administration, marketing and financial management. They will receive supplies and financial support to reopen their businesses with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. With your help, 46 families in Mexico can successfully and safely restart their businesses so they can provide for their families.

What your gift will do

Your support will provide a computer lab and library materials:

  • Professional entrepreneurship training, materials and individual coaching
  • Supplies, equipment and work materials, including COVID-19 preventive equipment
  • Payment of electricity bills

Logistics

  • Local contribution: US$2,552.75
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Mexico will ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Follow-up: A designated committee from each church will monitor families twice a month to track the progress of the intervention and address any ongoing challenges or concerns.
80%

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.