Sitting at home during the quarantine spurred her to be industrious once again, she volunteered to advise business owners, recruited public figures to make the information accessible, and on the way realized that in this new emerging reality people are thirsty for help, and expanded her office services – meet Adv. Bilhah Metzger, who turned this survival period into an era of opportunities.
Today, Adv. Metzger is a partner, founder, and CEO of the Mutai, Metzger & Garbawi law firm, and a board member of the Jasmine Association, which she joined over eight years ago. She says: “As a woman and business owner I found myself relating to the vision and goals of the organization and these affected me personally. At the time, I was a self-employed attorney and for me, Jasmine as an organization that promotes independent women leads to socio-economic change for Israeli women and builds a female economic leadership avenue was a ground for growth, support, and self-fulfillment.
But the COVID-19 crisis caught Adv. Metzger in a challenging situation, on the one hand she is a married woman and a mother of four children who were in quarantine having no educational structure, and on the other hand the law firm was experiencing a decrease in business activity. “The period was extremely difficult, I found myself climbing the walls at home”, she reminisces, but being the industrious person that I am and after having to slow down for a few days due to outside constraints, I made up my mind to recalculate a new course of action.
In those days, she was all invested, heart and soul, in assistance activities for small and medium-sized businesses and established a Call Center for Businesses on behalf of Lahav, in cooperation with the Haifa Municipality. Adv. Metzger herself has volunteered providing consult for hundreds of business owners’ inquiries every day. “This period was actually where my professional career took a turn, I decided to take the business forward while on the move, coming from the understanding that the business owners public in particular and the wide public in general, lack the knowledge that can help them make the right decisions, I decided to set up departments specializing in all areas of law – real estate, civil, commercial and so on”.
Weren’t you afraid to expand your activity when everyone else was freezing theirs?
“On the contrary, I saw the period as an opportunity for growth, I recruited a professional team for each department, and I am still busy developing the business. In practice, the expansion process is proving itself.”
Do you think the COVID-19 Crisis affected women-business-owners differently?
“In recent years, I have served as a board member of the Jasmine Association and the association’s Legal Adviser. Jasmine is a non-profit organization, led by and for women, that works nationwide to promote economic and social change for businesses owned by Jewish and Arab women from all sectors, religions, and socio-economic strata. From data collected by the association, it is quite clear that the COVID-19 crisis affected women-owned businesses differently, after all, schools were closed, their children stayed at home and the burden of parenthood was mainly born by the wives. We at Jasmine work tirelessly with government ministries to recognize this discrepancy and provide a tailored solution. I am proud to be part of the management and leadership of Jasmine, and for me, there is an enormous vocation in helping to promote women-owned businesses, a need that has been magnified and intensified during the COVID-19 crisis.”