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.