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Covid-19 in Chile

Cecilia Besa

A note from Chile on the Covid-19 situation


CEOs have to not only keep their own spirits up and also find a way to keep their businesses and people get through for the next several months where sales may be as low as zero. Due to the responsibility and the relevance of what they do beyond their own companies, they are to configure other solutions to continue supporting the community at large under these difficult circumstances.

In the face of this challenge, local corporations in Chile have generated proposals to support charitable causes alleviating the pain for the communities they serve. There are some stellar examples of companies which are serving the community during these times.

The largest beverage company in Chile, has developed an alcohol based sanitizer gel for distribution to local communities. The product itself was made from dealcoholisation of the beer they otherwise produce.

Aguas Andinas S.A, a water utility provider for the City of Santiago aims to continue providing safe drinking water to the community, has set up special camps for employees to support them during their work and off-work days to ensure risk free continuity of operations.

Chile’s largest broiler production company has converted one of its facilities outside the capital city as a venue to receive patients from the surrounding areas. Multinationals have also done their bit and recently 3M donated over 0.2 million masks to the public health system.

Falabella the largest retailer in Chile, is now sharing free educational content for all Chilean students through its digital media services platform which is used for employee e-learning.

Not be left behind, the telecom companies are doing their bit as well. Leading telecommunications companies in Chile are activating a free Internet plan for the 40% poorest segment of the population. This plan shall be financed by the local government and implemented by private companies that provide the service under the Connectivity Solidarity Plan.

Payment deadlines for products and services sold several major enterprises have been extended to support customers during this time. Chilean Banks have provided more flexible credit conditions to their customers. In addition, they have granted new credits with fewer requirements to those that existed, postponing debts and easing credit conditions.

Compensation funds organizations are a fundamental part of the social welfare for employees and retired personnel in Chile. Beneficiaries have been vaccinated and have received their retirement funds at home. Private health organizations, such as hospitals, outpatient services and laboratories, have granted the State access to 70% of their facilities. This will complement public hospitals and urgent care centers capacity.

Local government have also done their bit as well. In addition to generating funds to finance small and medium-sized enterprises, it has postponed tax payments and other obligations. This will be done by means of loans with 0% interest rate which will be operated by private banks with state-guarantee. In addition, no fee will be required during the first six months.

Overall, we believe while the going is tough for several economies battered by the virus in the region, Chile is well positioned to recover based on number of positive actions from both the State as well as the Private enterprises. We are hoping for the best!!