MSME Clearinghouse:  Newsletter

arrow COVID-19 Policy Responses (as of April 27, 2020):

  This is the second special edition of the OAS MSME Newsletter dedicated to measures recently announced by OAS Member States to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). As we highlighted in the first edition of March 31, 2020, the policy responses vary from country to country and are specific to the economic circumstances and public health of each Member State. Given that every day produces new developments, this second inventory is in no way exhaustive.



Around 75,000 micro, small and medium-sized companies accessed loans from the special line of credit at a maximum annual interest rate of 24% launched by the Central Bank of Argentina, for an amount that exceeds AR$ 108,000 million since it was launched a month ago.

Santander granted loans to SMEs for more than $ 10 billion for the payment of 175,000 salaries.

The Bahamas

616 micro, small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs) have registered to benefit from the program, being offered through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), to provide loans to small businesses. Approved loans will have a payment grace period of four months.

Figures supplied by the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) showed that micro and small business applications to the Business Continuity Loan programme to-date are collectively seeking more than $32m in financial support to ride out the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Barbados Adopt A Family Programme has raised funds to help families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ordinary Barbadians and businesses have been making monetary contributions to the programme.


In-country public transportation by land, air and sea will resume for essential workers and essential purposes. Government offices will reopen and those additional businesses placed on total cessation can go back to operating during limited hours. The two key citizen support programs, unemployment relief and food assistance, are proceeding apace.


Chamber of Deputies approves credit line for micro and small businesses during the pandemic. The proposal aims to secure resources for businesses and keep jobs during the Covid-19 related emergency.

Caixa Econômica Federal and Sebrae signed an agreement with the objective of facilitating access to credit for micro and small businesses, as well as for individual micro-entrepreneurs. This partnership is part of a set of measures implemented by the federal government to reduce the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) on small businesses in Brazil.

Micro and small entrepreneurs are finding alternatives on the Internet to maintain at least part of their sales. Those who already had customers can maintain sales through messaging apps or social networks. Another option is platforms that advertise business services and products for free to help in times of crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.


Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program: the program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for April (retroactive), May, and June.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. It will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Canada’s Federal Government Expands COVID-19 Emergency Wage Subsidy Eligibility Criteria. The federal government’s plans for a comprehensive wage subsidy program that would cover up to 75 percent of an employee’s regular wages for up to 3 months.


The Government of Chile detailed the Covid-19 special credit program that will come to the rescue of the country's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), affected by the health crisis. These credits seek to reach 95% of the companies in Chile, which are at risk of losing the jobs of their workers, and with it the income of their families.

The National Customs Service puts into effect a resolution to defer the total VAT to MSMEs for import operations that have been verified in the months of April, May and June 2020.

“Activa Turismo Online” is the name of the initiative of the Undersecretariat of Tourism and Sernatur to give a virtual space to the MSMEs in the tourism industry that want to talk and debate strategies in this crisis.


The Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC) joined forces with the Organization of American States (OAS) to implement, through Kolau, a digitization plan for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with which entrepreneurs can create, for free, web pages and enable the georeferencing service for their businesses so that they can be found through Google Maps.

Colombian Government issues several decrees to protect employment and support micro, medium and small businesses. The new rules would allow the State to finance 5 minimum wages for 3 months, to protect MSMEs payrolls.

The Government will support, through the National Guarantee Fund, the credits that MSMEs require from the financial system for the payment of their payrolls.

MinComercio launches a platform that benefits the productive chain of MSMEs.This platform,, serves to bring the national supply and demand closer to SMEs. It also offers training.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica will grant $ 5.6 million in non-reimbursable funds for 200 exporting MSMEs affected by COVID-19. Economic resources come from Procomer and Development Banking; INA will provide business advisers.


Dominica Association of Banks and Financial Institutions outlines measures being offered to customers. The initiative is a joint approach which has been adopted by the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions in collaboration with The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). It addresses the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses across the region.

Dominica government meets with major players to discuss measures to stimulate economy.

Dominican Republic

Central Bank authorizes release of resources to finance MSMEs.


Information on the Position of the Government of Ecuador on MSMEs vis-à-vis COVID-19

El Salvador

Government will present an economic plan for $ 600 million to support small and micro businesses.


Prime Minister Chairs Task Force As Government Explores Reactivation of Economic Activity, Post COVID-19.


President highlights ten financial support programs

Mineco allocates Q200 million to a trust for MSMEs.

Micro, small, medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs are being hit by the COVID-19 emergency. That is why several entities seek to provide support with free advertising, development of ideas, advice and financing.

Micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) affected by the Covid-19 emergency may be part of the Sell Now Online project, which allows businesses to start in 48 hours to offer their products in their own electronic store.


Though many businesses are facing closures and declines brought about by the effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the situation has, however, opened the door for booming business in other areas, particularly the delivery business.


Honduran microentrepreneurs incorporated into the OAS MSME Digitization Plan for online sales. Some 15,000 entrepreneurs will thus access the benefits of electronic commerce in a first phase.

2,500 million lempiras are approved to support loans for MSMEs. With the guarantee fund, they will support 65% to 90% of the loans that entrepreneurs request from banks, cooperatives and other institutions to resume their activities


Jamaicans to access relief assistance as part of the Government’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package.

Small businesses to benefit from COVID-19 grants.

The Government has moved to cushion the economic effects now being felt in many quarters through several relief packages which form part of its overall $10 billion COVID-19 response.


IDB Invest and the CMN (Mexican Business Council) with the support of the Ministry of Finance launch a support plan for 30,000 MSMEs in Mexico.

The measures announced by Banco de México (Banxico) to inject resources of 750,000 million pesos into the financial market, are designed to bring relief to families, as well as to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) affected by Covid- 19.

Monterrey, NL. The Chamber of the Transformation Industry of Nuevo León (Caintra) highlighted that the measures announced by Banco de México (Banxico), in particular those focused on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and individuals affected by the Covid coronavirus pandemic -19, represent unprecedented, frank and direct support for this population.


AMPYME and DHL Express reinforce initiatives to promote MSMEs in international markets.

Panama, through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (AMPYME), made available to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs MSMEs, a robot software called RITA, which reports online on the services offered by the institution.


The Executive reported today on the release of funds created in the health emergency law to benefit the MSMEs Guarantee Fund (Fogapy) in the framework of the economic crisis following the pandemic by COVID-19. With this fund, it will be possible to guarantee credits for this sector.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) is promoting a plan for micro, small and medium-sized companies to access loans with annual interest rates of between 5.5% and 10%, with six months to a year of grace and a term up to 60 months. These loans are already offered by 37 financial institutions, attached to the guarantee fund for MSMEs, and the Government created a trust for more cooperatives and credit institutions to join.


To support companies affected by quarantine due to the new coronavirus, the Peruvian Government created the Reactiva Peru program.

Sunat provides MSMEs with information so that they can access the 'Reactiva Perú' guarantee program.

3,360 MSMEs accessed resources from the Crecer Fund.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

The government introduced more restrictive social measures and pledged a 120-million stimulus package to protect businesses, jobs and the economy.

Saint Lucia

Prime Minister presents Saint Lucia’s COVID-19-response Social Stabilization Programme (Phase 1).

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

This plan contains strategic and targeted measures for economic support and recovery; this plan provides help for the helpless, support for the disadvantaged, and for those who face urgent, though temporary, difficulties. Overall, this economic recovery plan is designed to lift people, the nation.

Trinidad and Tobago

The Development Bank of Latin America, also known as CAF, confirmed that the hemispheric lending institution has approved a US$50 million loan to Trinidad and Tobago to mitigate the COVID-19 health crisis in the country.

United States

On April 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $484 billion financial support package to further shore up American institutions and individuals financially damaged by the COVID-19 Pandemic. $484 billion set aside to assist small businesses and hospitals.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.


With the goal of reducing the economic impact of the health emergency in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the Uruguayan government has issued a series of economic measures in support of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The Chamber of Commerce and Services opens a digital transformation program for SMEs. The union, with the support of the National Development Agency (ANDE), began working on the digital insertion of 20 MSMEs from Montevideo and the interior.



In light of the loss of revenue by cultural and creative industry (CI) practitioners due to the effects of COVID-19, the Caribbean Development Bank has allocated USD 100,000 for Emergency Relief Grants being offered through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).

As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, CARICOM rum producers have modified their production lines to play their part by producing alcohol and hand sanitiser and making donations of sanitation products. Across the Caribbean, contributions have been made to governments, institutions, and frontline healthcare workers and to support local communities impacted by the virus.



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