MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT
[8th April 2020]
Response to Covid-19
Government issues “veiled” response plan to save SMEs during lockdown
The government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, has offered a response plan to save small businesses affected by the 21-day National Lockdown beginning 30 March 2020 , announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to contain the spread of the 2020Covid-19 pandemic. Only companies and organisations providing essential services such as medical, food and the security sector are allowed to continue operating.
The Ministry had said in the Notice [see copy below] that the Government was considering as one of its interventions to minimise the impact of the lockdown, to assist people engaged in the SME and informal sector through providing assistance to cushion against loss of income for subsistence”.
List of beneficiaries
The Ministry did not provide details on the kind of assistance that the government would be providing to the affected small businesses.
Nevertheless the Ministry has written a notice to all SMEs and Informal Sector associations requesting them to compile lists of their members and share the same with the provincial offices listed so that they can benefit from the government assistance.
Lack of Details and Exclusions
The government notice however does not provide details on how they are going to select the beneficiaries and the type of the assistance that will be offered. The notice is directed to associations of small and medium enterprises and basically closes the door on small businesses that are not affiliated to any grouping. Furthermore, no information has been made available on procedures for applying for the said government assistance.