The impact of COVID 19 on our economies and SMEs

The world over, money related bundles have just been reported by countries in an offer to re-establish their economies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic holding nations over the globe.

The US, for example, is taking a gander at a Senate vote to roll out a $2tn bundle, touted as one of the biggest salvage bundles in American history.

One of the most broadly affected by the emergency, Italy, thought of a crisis plan of $28bn that could assist them with creeping gradually towards commonality.

Europe has not been far behind with similar measures supporting technical unemployment and government-backed loans to SMEs, although each country has different criteria and thus not all SMEs have the same options. It is unclear whether this can continue ad infinitum.

Policymakers and lobbying organisations have been in a struggle of the past few weeks as the measures put in place fail to support the right companies while rewarding those who were already capable of withstanding the slowdown.

In case you’re in the travel industry and travel business, things are changing continuously, but you are not alone. Virtually all areas of the economy are affected.

Yes, retailers and e-commerce are profiting from this, however, the purchasing power for the vast majority of households is diminishing for each month we stay at home or on welfare. Statistically, only the top 20% of our income earners will be able to sustain long periods of slowdown without modifying their consumption behaviour. As we have seen in previous studies, households will start cutting gradually on non-essentials to the point where nobody is safe.

A few nations have formally prohibited public travel not only to other countries but in some cases no more than 300m from one's residence, in a time where the mobility is at its best.

It surely cannot be that simple, not in the absence of a vaccine or a way to prevent the most vulnerable in our society from exposure.

A ton has happened as an immediate or roundabout impact of COVID-19. While individuals are encouraged to wash their hands to stay away from the spread of germs, there has been a deficiency of hand sanitizers, dying and cleaning wipes, and related things, a problem which many companies are addressing now.

It is imperative that as we shift from our homes to the office that each company employing and dealing with people has appropriate sanitising solutions for offices, protective equipment and a plan for managing the exposure of those vulnerable employees.

The world when we come back to the office will not be the same, not until vaccines are commercialised at scale and testing can be done on the spot.

We need to embrace and ready our economies, finances, and our businesses for a period of very gradual recovery.