As online marketing emerged, many businesses coped with selling their products and services online. Ms. Jennifer Montejo, 37 years old, a resident from the municipality of “Baleng Ganda, Baleng Saya” Liliw, Laguna, owner of Leigh Ann Footwear, is one of them.

Ms. Jennifer Montejo together with her footwear products.

On 15 March 2020, the Philippine government announced a national lockdown on all provinces of the Philippines due to the coronavirus disease. Many business owners started to face their own nightmares as they closed down due to the pandemic; they were not able to sell their products, especially if they were not a basic necessity nor a prime commodity.

Given that footwear is not considered a basic necessity, Montejo was one of the business owners who decided to stop their business operation. It was then one of the hardest problems that her business had encountered so far. She had a very hard time coping because her family initially depended on the income generated from her product sales and, at that time, her husband was one of the OFWs that had been repatriated.

Leigh Ann's Footwear products.

Montejo was thinking of how to somehow alleviate their problem. She tried to make a Facebook page in order to acquire customers or buyers of her products. At first, it was a challenge for her because of the current situation in the whole country, but as the days passed by, through her hard work, she was gaining more customers visiting her Facebook page. She posted multiple times until one day, a client who was interested in ordering bulk from her came in. However, accepting this bulk order posed another problem for Montejo. She did not know where to get the additional capital for the bulk orders.

One day, Montejo attended a meeting for footwear manufacturers and sellers facilitated by the local government of Liliw, Laguna. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Laguna Provincial Office was also invited to present their programs and services at the said activity. One of which was a loan program offered by the SB Corp with low interest. Montejo approached the Business Counselor on how to obtain the P3 Loan. She immediately applied for it and was released with PHP50,000 as the initial loan amount.

Leigh Ann's Footwear's shop

From the day that the loan was released, she considered it as a stepping stone to bounce back. A few months later, she was selected to be one of the beneficiaries of the Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay of DTI-Laguna, and according to her, the raw materials given were a huge help for her business to continue.

A consultative meeting with the footwear industry from Liliw, Laguna, took place last year. The Shared Service Facilities (SSF) was one of the topics that were discussed. She showed interest in borrowing the machines, and it was again a great help for her because their production doubled.

Montejo was really grateful to have DTI-Laguna as her key to success. If it were not for DTI-Laguna and her hard work, she may not be able to retrieve her business that has had to close down due to the pandemic. ♦

Date of Release: 12 July 2022