The covid-19 emergency and its impact on SMEs: the OECD analysis

March, 30, 2020

The historical moment we are living is quite hard, we are struggling against an invisible enemy which is dramatically changing our lives. While the first concern is related to guarantee public health, it is clear that the impact this emergency will have on global economies and on small and medium enterprises is huge.

The OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE) has developed a note which explores the effects of the virus on SMEs, estimates the impacts and also offers an overview on the first measures countries are implementing to foster SME resilience.

The note “COVID-19: SME Policy Responses” highlights that SMEs are affected on both the demand and the supply side and that financial markets will register further reduced confidence and a reduction of credit. The policy responses to this crisis are numerous and include:

  • the adoption of measures to ensure that information on the prevention and containment of the virus reaches SMEs, including through information via SME/enterprise agencies and SME associations (e.g. Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Switzerland);
  • the setting up of a variety of financial facilities to help companies address the short-term consequences of the outbreak as part of wider fiscal policy responses, such as temporary tax relief or direct financial support to SMEs;
  • measures concerning procurement and payment delays;
  • the introduction of support packages that foresee emergency loans to support SME clients as well as flexibility for repayments of existing loans, for example in Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. In Italy the Italian Banking Association, business associations in accordance with the Government have agreed on a large-scale moratorium on debt repayments, including mortgages and repayments of small loans and revolving credit lines for businesses.

These are only a few of the measures adopted, we invite you to go through the OECD note available here to access more detailed information.

Source: OECD - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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