COVID-19 pandemic has torn into the economic fabric of the world regardless of their superpowers or their sorry state. Businesses have been the hardest hut after they were forced to scale done their operations which forced them to send thousands of employee home. In Kenya, COVID-19 has been waging war at the economic status indiscriminately. SMEs have been hit below the gut and latest report released by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) on Thursday, May 7, has shed more light on how worse the situation is getting for entrepreneurs.
According to the report, of 2,446 businesses which took part in the survey, 81% reported that they had been impacted by Covid-19. The hardest-hit sectors were the tourism and education sectors, at 95% and 93% respectively. In the Tourism sector, 64% of the firms which took part in the survey reported lay-offs. Of these numbers, almost 90% of medium-sized tourism firms reported have la to laid off some of their staff. Only 10%, 36% and 42% of mid-sized, small and micro enterprises in tourism respectively reported full retention of employees.
In the education sector, 53% of institutions reportedly sent home some of their employees. Only 51% of medium-sized and micro-sized educational institutions reported retaining all their workers. In as much as times are hard in some of the sectors in the country have not felt much weight of the virus and have remained afloat in their operation, but in line with government directives.KEPSA reported that those least affected by the virus include
- health, social work and environment
- Waste and water firms
These sectors reported impacts of 47%, 50% and 56% respectively compared to those that were hard hit by the virus.
To survive these tough times, businesses have come up with creative ways to keep operating seamlessly like working from home by leveraging on technology to make things work out.