The Covid -19 pandemic has negatively impacted on Small and Medium Enterprises and Local businesses in the country. The onset of the disease in December 2019 occassioned the hard economic times following the closure of the economies. Every sector had operations come to a standstill still except for those offering essential services like security and healthcare. Kenya's economy that was dependent on tourism and importation of horticultural products and other goods to the world market was seriously hurt by travel advisories and cessation international flights.Locally,lockdowns and night curfews pushed struggling businesses to a natural death. Many Small and Medium businesses that were nearly crippled by the pandemic have received resuscitation following bold moves by some financial institutions. The government and other development partners have been working on a programme to cushion such struggling businesses against the worst effects of the pandemic even as the country battles with the third wave.
The Co-operative Bank recently secured Kshs 8.3 billion to lend to SMEs at friendly rates with flexible repayment periods. The Mastercard Foundation also partnered with the Chamber of commerce to roll out Kshs. 600 Million for concessionary loans to Small and Medium Enterprises to cushion them against the economic shocks of the pandemic. This move is to give businesses a stepping stone to bouncing back to businesses. There is going to be a second edition of the business Conference and Expo themed 'SMEs Resilience Recovery and Sustainability' on 18th-20th March 2021 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre. All SMEs are invited to display their products and services. This will be a perfect platform to engage with customers and patnersas well as networking and striking deals for sales.The Nation Media Group (NMG), in partnership with Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI), will hold its Second Edition of the SMEs Conference and Expo on 18th, 19th and 20th March 2021 at KICC, Tsavo Ballroom, Nairobi.
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