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Industry reacts to partial lockdown

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CHIUTSI—SMEs should be included

Business operators have lamented possible effects of the partial lockdown the government has effected to contain spread of Covid-19 in the country.

The government gazetted the Public Health (coronavirus) Prevention, Containment and Management rules, which among other things put restrictions on hospitality, recreation and other public events.

Speaking in an interview Monday, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Director of Business Environment and Policy Advocacy, Madalitso Kazembe, said although the rules are not entirely different from restrictions they had previously, business will continue to suffer.

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“Government needs to find ways of cushioning the impact on businesses,” Kazembe explained.

In a separate interview, Indigenous Business Association of Malawi president Mike Mlombwa, however, said the country had no other option in its quest to contain the disease.

Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses says the new measures could have a bearing on SMEs if the government does not come to their rescue.

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President for the chamber, James Chiutsi, welcomed the development but urged the government to consider offering bailout packages to SMEs.

“We remember that there was a moratorium and we want that to be extended and we are also looking at the small enterprises that are heavily hit by the pandemic,” Chiutsi said.

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