Business

SMEs pray for extra safe nets

PAC COVID-19 Message

Amid measures unveiled by President Peter Mutharika to ease Covid-19’s potential pressure on businesses, Chamber for Small and Medium Business Association has asked the government to consider offering special cushions to SMEs.

In a statement released Monday, while applauding the government for the measures, the chamber says there is more that could be done to shield small scale business operators.

Among other things, the group asks the government to consider lowering internet costs and support IT enterprises.

“Government should reduce tax on internet then it will trickle to internet service providers who in turn will reduce price charged to end consumer.

“Most SMEs use cash as means of trading, yet cash is a good transmitter of the virus, IT enterprises or systems should be acquired with minimal red tap to ensure use of cash is minimised,” the statement reads in part.

The chamber has also asked the government to consider broadening and fast-track loans from Medf and introduce less stringent requirements that government should support businesses with sanitary products.

“Extend the moratorium on loan repayment which is currently at three months to six months and lower rentals for commercial properties,” reads the statement in part.

Malawi currently has recorded 5 cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) with three in Lilongwe and two in Blantyre.

The virus has caused devastating economic impact on economies across the world with businesses falling and others shutting down.

The country’s SMEs have already started feeling the effects of the virus as they are unable to import goods from across the borders.

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