These days, it’s no longer “business as usual” for merchants in Venezuela as it used to be. Currently, the nation is stalled in a detrimental economic collapse to an extent its citizens are suffering shortage of basics like foodstuffs, medicines, supplies and so on. The state only has a little cash in circulation and whatever’s available has lost value due to mounting inflation.
For micro-business owners, thriving in such a hostile environment would be almost impossible. However, some entrepreneurs seem to be going against all the odds. A worth mentioning case is in a small village known Chichiriviche de la Costa—a town near Caracas— where several local businesspeople are still earning their living by trading items to tourist.
Nevertheless, running a company in the area isn’t a pushover; a western-world merchant can’t survive half of the problems entrepreneurs face in Venezuela. Here are the some of the most severe challenges.
No access to internet
Imagine operating in a setting where you can’t access the Internet. The ‘de la Costa signal disappeared in August last year following the theft of transmitters and cables, and until now no efforts have been made to fix it.
Some business owners have reported that at times they have to travel miles into the sea just to pick a signal to process credit card transactions. This means the customers have to disclose their PIN (which is not easy to have them do), then wait on the beach as the merchant sails in search of an internet signal.
Handling Customers without bank accounts
Even worse, merchants are dealing with customers that lack bank accounts. This means the business owner must spend 15% in commission to get the amount in cash he/she needs to clear payroll.
No trust, No sale
‘De la Costa residents consider “trust” their topmost currency. A merchant will only sell to a buyer if they promise to come back with the cash days after they have received the bank transfers.
The bottom line
Despite these many severe challenges, merchants are still struggling to live in this noncash environment by thinking out creative ways of taking payments. So before you go complaining about the adverse conditions you’re facing, remember they may be worse elsewhere. And while have easy access to services like high risk business loan, some businesspeople don’t.
Author Bio: Business Funding expert, Michael Hollis, founded First American Merchant with his eyes set on helping the backbone of our country, small business owners. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. First American Merchant is America’s Best high risk business loan company, serving both traditional and high-risk Businesses.