SMEs awaiting results of COVID-19 measures

By Mabuchi Chunga

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) say they are yet to see initiatives set by the Reserve Bank of Malawi such as loan moratoriums set in place to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.

National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) say at the moment commercial banks have approached some of the SME’s explaining how things will fare.

Kondwani Nanchukwa a representative of NASME says there have been meetings that have been held to help explain the situation.

“We have gotten some communication in regards to the notice by government to have some measures effected such as suspension of loans and how businesses will repay them,” said Nachukwa.

However implementation of these measures has not started showing on the ground and the SME’s are waiting to see when this will happen.

“There hasn’t been anything in regards to the plans being implemented on the SME’s, the benefits have not started manifesting for the business,” said Nanchukwa.

Government through the finance ministry earlier this month instituted measures that were meant to mitigate the effects of COVID -19 on the effect.

In response to this the Reserve Bank of Malawi on 10 April issued a statement which gave direction on how commercial banks were to operate during the pandemic.

Some of the measures included provide borrowers with three months of suspended loan payments, renegotiate loan terms for small and medium enterprises and corporations who have been affected by COVID – 19 on a case by case basis and reduce by fifty percent the fees attached to internet banking, mobile payment systems.

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