Impact of COVID-19 In Hong Kong For Startups & SME’s

In this blog post, I ask Hong Kong Startup Founders their experiences regarding how COVID-19 has affected their businesses in 2020. I also ask them for their predictions and thoughts about the future prosperity of Hong Kong.

What’s This Post All About?

We provide Hong Kong SME’s and Startups with SEO Services and Digital Marketing and, just like everyone else on the planet, we’ve been impacted by COVID-19.

“Sharing is caring”, and I hope that by sharing the thoughts and experiences of our pioneers, entrepreneurs, and makers in Hong Kong, we can learn something positive and act upon it.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that has contributed.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and hear from people who really are, in my opinion, the backbone of Hong Kong’s economy and creative spirit.

I Asked Each Entrepreneur Two Questions:

  1. How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Business?
  2. What’s Your Prediction For Hong Kong in 2020-2021

Samy Djafer

Founder, BREASY HONG KONG

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

Our business is the sale of protective face masks, Covid-19 had a big impact on our daily operations and we had to adapt quickly in order to face the sharply rising demand.

It has been very challenging, mostly because many parameters you take for granted all year long suddenly becomes unreliable. I’m talking about manufacturing, supply, logistics, which caused many disruptions in the early days of the outbreak.

When facing panic-buying, the major challenge is forecasting the demand in the weeks/months ahead; you can always scale up but there is momentum.

Sharp rise usually means a sharp decline too, so if you get carried away by the high demand, you may end up completely misaligned and waste your cash flow.

Businesswise, Covid-19 has been sort of a “stress test”, we try to learn from it, in order to make our structure more flexible and improve our ability to face sudden changes.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

I’m convinced that Hong Kong will bounce back, for several reasons.

The first being the people, Hongkongers are resilient and always looking ahead.

I’m impressed about how the people swiftly reacted to this situation, helping contain the spread of the virus.
It shows some respect and care for each other.

The energy of this city comes from the people living in, we all have our part to play in the future of Hong Kong.

Politics aside, the government stepped-in with unprecedented relief measures that will absorb most of the impact and help businesses to stay afloat.

The fiscal reserves are high so there is no reason to doubt the ability of Hong Kong to make it through the post-COVID-19 period.

It is tough, it will be tough but the city will recover fast, I’m sure of that.

David Siu

Founder, Enliven Works

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

We are weathering the storm. We have offered more options for remote coaching- video/voice calls. New client sign-ups have stalled because not many people are willing to increase their expenses. Luckily I have not lost any existing clients because mindset coaching turned out to be quite useful during such stressful times.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

It depends. Tourism has dropped dramatically, since the political crisis, and hence many businesses are still impacted by that.

For instance, up to 70% of many retail businesses came from tourists. So the attitude and the economy of the mainland will be crucial. Furthermore, the situation in the US is very uncertain and it could have a significant to the world’s economy.

Winson Kwok

Co-Founder, Corporate Hub Hong Kong

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

I have adopted some new ways to overcome the obstacles. First, spend more effort on online marketing. Second, when it goes to client meetings, we will use an alternative way, for example, Zoom.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has always be important in the world. We have great location and talent. So I am quite positive in the future.

Anna Zeies

Founder, Pinacotheca Limited Hong Kong

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

In certain ways, I adapted to the situation. I’m in the process to organize an exhibition in Hong Kong. On one side thanks to COVID-19 I had time to meet artists and experts in Poland. On the other side, it’s for my small company for a long time without income, so I had to take the decision to close the company.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has strong people and already many experiences with many different crises. I think positive and I hope in the short term everything will be good again.

Lindsey McAlister

Founder, Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

We create youth arts events…there are no children, schools or venues at present…so no projects and no income. As an NGO we live a hand to mouth existence but have been setting aside a buffer for times like this. Our sponsors and partners have been supportive.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

Bounce!!! HK is a wonderful resilient city!! Bounce bounce bounce!!!!

Sunny Mak

Founder & Director, SUNSHINE ACTION

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

Sunshine Action is a charity org focusing on poverty relief. The COVID-19 makes us 30% more active than usual by helping some 40% more poor people than last year same period.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

The first half-year of 2020 is bad, the second half-year of 2020 will be much worst at a worldwide scale. Real HUNGER may hit by AUG-SEP 2020 and sad percentage of mortality is around the corner.

Prav Daswani

Founder, Dx SPORTSWEAR

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

Shipping to overseas has become extremely challenging given the shortage of flights and price for express courier services. Therefore we have had to focus our approach more in the HK local market.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

On a local front businesses will be able to reopen and get back to work very quickly, however the HK economy is heavily reliant on tourism and that will take a lot more time to get back to where it needs to be with a lot of uncertainty surrounding global travel.

Andrea Fessler

Founder & Executive Director, Premiere Performances of Hong Kong

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

As a concert presenter, we are unable to present any live concerts at the moment (with either international or local musicians) nor are we able to conduct any educational outreach as schools are indefinitely suspended. So all our activities since February 2020 have been put on hold.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

I am more negative than positive, as I am very concerned about the Hong Kong economy.

Ricardo Medrano

Founder Terraforming Media

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

In a way it has given me an advantage, because I have more content to report to the Spanish audience about the coronavirus in this part of Asia.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

I think HK will not have many COVID cases again maybe until the beginning of 2021. It also depends of other countries and the measures in HK at the time.

Ronald Hsu

Co-Founder, Bright Stars Hong Kong

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

With our focus on online learning and knowledge sharing over the internet, decrease in high school participation in physical classes align in certain extend with our vision of education in the future. We can see tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom increase in popularity during this period, which inevitably prompts student’s self motivation seeking knowledge in other sources (internet, in this case) and approaching platforms like Bright Stars.

The shift in customer behaviour is great news to those like us who want to collect more data on how they would react to a change in educational systems, but one should also bear in mind that this shift could be temporary. In short, this is a perfect opportunity to both observe the market reaction to an online-focused environment; and to adjust the gaps between expectations and reality when designing such products.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

The situation will be very different depending on the demographic. Lower class will feel a longer-lasting impact due to both unemployment and the continuous social unrest.

The middle class is heavily synchronised with businesses in Hong Kong in general, which I think would be able to recover in general. Upper class or entrepreneurs, on the other hand, would have to think carefully about their future planning since this could mean either a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or complete destruction of their achievements.

Jeff Hoffman

Founder, Managing Director at Wayfarer Points

How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

It has brought an undetermined delay to new customer acquisition and suspended project development. We have used the time to strengthen our technology and prepare for recovery.

Your Prediction For Hong Kong?

Bullish, aware of headwinds.

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