SMEDA support to SMEs during pandemic

Engineering Post Report

Pandemic of COVID-19  has proved a catalyst  for already dwindling situation of national economy in general and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in particular.

An online survey titled “Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs” was carried out by SMEDA  to assess the effect of COVID-19 on businessmen  and simultaneously  identify the issues  that SMEs were facing  at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic .

The survey served as a basis for the Federal Government  to design  an electricity relief package  under “Prime Minister’s Relief Package” for Small  Businesses & Industries” and Mazdoor  Ka  Ehsaas Programme.

A follow-up survey  was launched in collaboration  with Mahbub-ul- Haq Research Centre (MHRC), LUMS which was conducted  from August till October 2020 after the lockdown  had been lifted. The survey had since been completed and the report was under review for publication sometime back.

 Further, in order to assess  the adaptability  and evolution of SMEs in the current situation, SMEDA collaborated with Manila-based Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Asian  Productivity  Organization (APO) to conduct a similar survey in Pakistan  in which 236 SMEs participated. ADBI-APO also conducted  a similar survey  in other countries  including  Bangladesh, India,  Indonesia, Malaysia, during May-June 2020 and in other regional countries  including Pakistan  from August to September 2020. In total 2344 SMEs participated in the regional survey.

Results of the regional survey   highlighted the key issues faced by SMEs  in the region and the support they required  to  recuperate  during pandemic of COVID-19 which paved the way for  the federal government  to facilitate them, accordingly.

In order to facilitate the SMEs during COVID-19 pandemic, SMEDA also conducted  Online Thematic helpdesks for SMEs and Webinars for SMEs in the areas of management, marketing, financial and technical assistance which helped  the key public and private stakeholders  in such a critical time to a great extent.