The World SME Day is celebrated to recognize, applaud and create awareness of contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the economy. The General Assembly decided to declare 27 June the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and global economy.
In Kenya, SMEs Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises employ a large percentage of the population in Kenya including youth, women and people from poor background. They are the backbone of developing economies. SMEs contribute largely to poverty eradication and reduction of crime rates by providing job opportunities. On this day, we want to highlight COVID-19 Pandemic: The Great Lockdown and its impact on Small Business
SME Day 2020 – COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its impact on Small Business
Small businesses, including those run by women and young entrepreneurs, are being hit hardest by the economic fall-out of the pandemic. Unprecedented lockdown measures enacted to contain the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in supply chain disruptions and a massive drop in demand in most sectors.
To continue playing their crucial role in creating decent jobs and improving livelihoods, small businesses depend more than ever on an enabling business environment, including support for access to finance, information, and markets.
The COVID 19 Pandemic has affected negatively a lot of businesses resulting to some employers forced to give their employees a pay cut, leaves and others were forced to shut down their businesses e.g. tourism sector. This means over 1million people in Kenya lost their jobs since the first case was announced in Kenya.
Nairobi and Mombasa great lockdown
With the Nairobi and Mombasa great lockdown, most small business such as the long distance travel was forced to shut down to contain the disease. Supply chain from other parts of the country was adversely affected since people had to send their goods as parcels and no human interaction was required between the buyer and the seller. The good thing is that there is a little sustainability among those businesses especially those dealing with non-perishable goods.
The curfew hours negatively affected small business especially people from vulnerable areas that live from hand to mouth. Some lost their source of income making it difficult to get something to eat for the day. As a business we were forced to release our employees earlier than usual to enable them beat the curfew hours. This means we worked less hours than the normal times.
Increase in cost of Cleaning Products
The cost of products skyrocketed and most of them went out of stock because of rush to buy products to kill the virus. Suppliers decided to sell products on cash basis with no credit terms. This affected our daily cash flows.
We started making Do It Yourself Cleaning products that will be able to eliminate the virus via WHO guidelines. We find it easy to eradicate rhino virus that causes common flus. This virus is complicated to eradicate compared to coronavirus. As long the solution has 60% ethanol it can be able to eradicate coronavirus and it’s safe to use at home and in any environment.
Read More on the Challenges we have faced during COVID-19 Pandemic as SME….