SMEs Need Stimulus Package: CZR

Can Zimbabwean SMEs Survive COVID-19 Pandemic? Audio

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu discussed the need for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get a stimulus package after the early 2021 lockdown.

The government forced SMEs to temporarily closed down in the two COVID-19 related lockdowns and concerns have been raised about the future of those surviving in the sector.

Mutashu said, ” SMEs and food markets will now open guided by WHO protocols but CZR is of the belief that there is need for relevant ministries to be proactive and set out these guidelines as more failed to reopen despite the President announcing same in the previous lockdown.”

“Going forward there is need to operationalize a stimulus package for informal sector and SMEs who have been closed for a longtime as some used up their capital to keep them going during lockdown.”

The CZR president however hailed the government’s decision to reopen businesses.

“The measured lockdown extension has eased business operations and CZR is of the strong view that this will play a significant role in injecting life into various businesses,” Mutashu said.

“The fact that exemption letters are no longer required is a great move towards smoothening movement of essential service providers and goods and services.”

“Reopening of bottles stores serving only takeaways is sweet news to imbibers and is very strategic in serving operations of breweries and the more than 20 000 bottles across the country whose employees were getting retrenched.”

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this week reviewed the lockdown allowing SMEs to reopen.

The country President also stopped the requirement of letters for citizens to move around as prescribed during the beginning of the current lockdown.

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