What can Small Businesses do to Survive COVID-19?

With a 25 percent contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been accelerating the country’s industrialization as well as economic growth. At present, around 78 lakh jobs have been created in the SME sector. The total number of SMEs in Bangladesh is expected to be 85,000 in the recent future. Among them, over 90 percent are small and 7 percent medium.

As the Government asks citizens to stay home and the whole nation comes to a halt, the small businesses suffer greatly. These businesses are crucial to the economy of the nation. But in such an unforeseen crisis, small businesses can adopt a few ways to minimize loss. 

Stand together and Engage with Policymakers if Possible:

In times of crisis like this, small business owners can come together and form an alliance with each other. The voice of every entrepreneur is crucial as they cannot let the big business make decisions for them. It’s important to reach out to policymakers, individually, or collectively. They can be reached through personal connections, phone calls, e-mails, letters, etc. Small businesses are the lifeline of any community and it’s necessary to save them.

Talk to Your Staff:

The small businesses in the community provide employment opportunities to hundreds of people. It’s important to understand that, amidst this crisis, our friends and family members might be losing their jobs. It’s important small business owners directly talk to their employees about their financial condition. Have an honest conversation with your employees about what you are hoping to do to keep them on the payroll—and what you may be forced to do.

Check your Reserves and Insurance:

Your financial planning right now is probably the most sensitive one. Talk to your accounts officer and check on the reserves your company currently has. Seek his/her advice so as to see if anything can be done to recover the lost income. Your insurance policy might have some measures to recover lost income. Although most insurance companies don’t provide any coverage for pandemics, it’s still important to talk to your insurance agent to evaluate the plausible options. 

Talk to your Vendors and Lenders:

The most important way to combat this unforeseen economic crisis is to seek help and to extend help. Be open, be apologetic where necessary. Request your vendors and landlords about stretching payments. Ask your lenders for delayed payments. Amidst this economic turmoil, banks will definitely step up.

References : The Independent BD

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