73% of SMEs affected by lockdown; 63% completely closed

MUSCAT: The board of directors of the Public Authority for SME Development (Riyada) reviewed the SME outlook report for post-COVID-19 and the effect of the current exceptional conditions on entrepreneurs.

Riyada board of directors held its second meeting under the chairmanship of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sundaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, board chairman, on Sunday.

The board reviewed the results of the survey on the small and medium enterprises conducted by Riyada to identify the most prominent challenges to the sustainability of enterprises under the current conditions.

The survey which covered 4254 SMEs including 2335 holders of the Riyada business card, found that 73 per cent of SMEs have been affected by the decision to shut down businesses to combat the COVID-19, and that 63 per cent of full time enterprises holding Riyada business cards have been completely closed during the lockdown period.

Based on the survey results, Riyada devised a set of measures including coordinating with the relevant authorities to find solutions to support the SMEs where the government’s decision to reopen a number of commercial activities had a positive effect on SMEs.

The board valued the Royal orders approving interest-free emergency loads to the enterprises most affected by the crisis. — ONA