MSME Clearinghouse:  Newsletter

arrow COVID-19 Policy Responses (as of October 16, 2020):
This is the seventh 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 inventory is in no way exhaustive.

Country Policy Responses

Ministry of Productive Development - The SME Secretariat presented tools to promote the associativity of small and medium-sized enterprises

The secretary of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurs presented the guidelines of the strategic agenda to promote SME associativity throughout the country.

This plan will be integrated by technical assistance in the formulation and management of associative strategic plans, training in associativity, the strengthening of service centers for common use and the creation of a National Registry of Productive Clusters, among other initiatives.

New financing line for SMEs in La Rioja with a 9.9% rate

The National Government and the province of La Rioja announced today a financing line for an amount of $ 200 million. Also Non-Refundable Contributions of the National State for $ 60 million for the local Industrial Park and investments of private companies for more than 44 million dollars.

The National Government and Santa Cruz announced a joint financing line with a 9.9% rate for SMEs in the province

The National Government and the province of Santa Cruz today launched a financing line for SMEs for an amount of 200 million pesos, with a subsidized rate of 9.9%. In addition, a disbursement of $ 120 million was announced for infrastructure works in San Julián and Perito Moreno Ports industrial parks.

The National Government and Neuquén presented a financing line with a 9.9% rate for SMEs in the province

The National Government and the province of Neuquén today presented a financing line for Neuquén SMEs for an amount of 200 million pesos, with a subsidized rate of 9.9%. In addition, the Ministry of Productive Development announced that it will allocate 120 million pesos in Non-Refundable Contributions (ANR) for the Zapala and Neuquén Capital industrial parks.


All businesses eligible for Safe Verification Certificate

Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship indicates that all businesses are eligible to receive the Safe Business Verification Certificate but they must satisfy certain conditions.

Financial Literacy Bureau can aid business continuity

Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship hopes that the advice and assistance offered through the Financial Literacy Bureau (FLB) will result in continuity for two and three generations, especially among black businesses.

Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship wants to see equal opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in Barbados


Launch of the "Made in Bolivia Stamp - Consume lo Nuestro"

Support for national production should be a priority, especially to promote micro, small, medium and large entrepreneurs and promote the recovery, growth and development of the country. To date, thanks to the loans, an estimated 200 million Bolivians have been disbursed and the providers registered in Pro Bolivia exceed 5,000.


Differentiated credit line - SEBRAE and the Federal Economic Fund signed an agreement to provide differentiated credit lines for small businesses

In addition to accompaniment and support during the loan application, SEBRAE will monitor the companies that have obtained loans.


Small businesses can apply directly for federal rent-relief, bypass landlords, in revamped rules

Ottawa has unveiled another round of federal support for small businesses, including a revamped rent-relief program and additional grants for struggling businesses as Quebec and Ontario restrict activity again to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus. The aid, which includes changes to the federal wage subsidy program, is designed to help a wider array of companies survive the pandemic.


Reactivate SME

This is a program that seeks to support micro and small companies of any economic sector, that have started activities until April 30, 2019 before the Internal Revenue Service and that have seen their sales affected by at least 30%, as a result of the health emergency.

Sercotec benefited 20,186 stalls of free trade fair traders in the country with sanitization kits for a safer operation

This initiative seeks to promote the implementation of sanitary measures at fairs to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and make these places safer for workers and customers.


Government launches the ‘Economy for the people’ strategy, through which it seeks to reactivate micro-businesses

This will support the reactivation and strengthening of productive units owned by vulnerable population and formal and informal micro businesses.

Government extends credit lines with support from the National Guarantee Fund until June 2021

The President of Colombia announced that the government made the decision to extend the credit lines with the support of the National Guarantee Fund (FNG) until June 2021. Another of the announced measures includes the relaxation of the requirements to access these credit lines.

Costa Rica

Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) and the National Institute of Learning (INA) launch Virtual Guide for entrepreneurs and businesswomen

This guide has information that every entrepreneur and business person should know, as well as the step by step to register as an SME or entrepreneur with the MEIC and thus access different legal incentives to promote businesses.

Dominican Republic

“The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs (MICM) and the Progressing with Solidarity Program (Prosoli) work to support small enterprises of families in extreme poverty

The programs that link the two institutions have to do with the small businesses of families living in extreme poverty, with whom Prosoli worked in the areas of education and training. It was reported that the idea is to strengthen seed and pre-seed capital for entrepreneurship and strengthen the artisan line to support the development of handicraft businesses with MICM’s help.

El Salvador

Seed Capital delivered to Emprendimientos por Oportunidad participating in Productive Corridors

The Government of El Salvador, through the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE), delivered seed capital to Emprendimientos por Oportunidad participating in the Productive Corridors Program.

This process is part of the Productive Corridors program coordinated by MINEC with the support of the IDB, where CONAMYPE implements a component to support entrepreneurship.

Delivery of tablets and special connectivity packages to female entrepreneurs and businesswomen served by CDMYPEs UNICAES and CAYAGAUANCA of the Trifinio region and to leaders of the Hosagua del Trifinio Network

The National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE), in conjunction with UN Women and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), within the framework of the "Alliance to strengthen entrepreneurship and economic rights of women", they handed out 100 tablets.

Public-Private Alliance between CONAMYPE and AEROMALL for the benefit of SMEs to market their products nationally and internationally

The National Commission for Micro and Small Businesses (CONAMYPE) and SERSAPROSA - AEROFLASH, established a strategic alliance for the benefit of Salvadoran MSEs, with the objective of providing companies with a preferential rate or the commercialization of their products.


The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) offers services to help grow MSMEs

As the Government’s business development agency that assists with the creation and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), JBDC offers technical and other services that move a client from one concept all the way up to the market.


The Opportunity Banking Program is progressing at a good pace

The expectation and interest of entrepreneurs and businessmen of the Microenterprise has allowed the program to reflect to date a growth of 656% in the last four weeks, compared to the month of August. After a month where more than 1,200 entrepreneurs were receiving their training.

Project for agroindustrial MIPYMES will promote regional development

With the start of registrations for the Competitive Agroindustry Project, it is expected that mechanisms to identify value chains or potential products will be activated in the various provinces so that they can benefit from this initiative, reported the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.


Núcleo de Asistencia Empresarial (NAE), an opportunity for MSMEs from all over Paraguay

The NAE has been created as a result of an alliance between the State, the Academy and the Company with the aim of contributing to the business development of companies, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises - MSMEs.

The service is provided within the framework of Extensión Universitaria, under the tutorship of teachers and accredited professionals in relevant areas.


Ministry of Production - Produce plans to formalize more than 30,000 MSEs by the end of the year

The Minister of Production indicated that this year 30,000 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) will be formalized, which will mean an increase of 200% compared to 2019 when approximately 10,000 MSEs were reached.

Produce: Around 300 thousand MSMEs will benefit from the new financial leasing registry

Around 300 thousand micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from the new financial leasing registry promoted by the Ministry of Production (Produce).

Recently, the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFP (SBS) published resolution No. 2413-2020, which promotes the productive and business development of MSMEs.

Produce: MYPErú began receiving garments made for the National Police

The reception of 35,900 garments, made by 141 MSEs participating in MYPErú, began. This initiative was organized through the Uniform Purchasing Executing Center for the National Police of Peru (PNP).

The Bahamas

SBDC to lead consultation on small business legislation

The Access Accelerator is leading a formal consultation on legislation to govern the entity and the small and medium-sized business sector in the country.

Small Business Centre Targets New Initiatives

The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) yesterday said it had secured $52.7m worth of financing for entrepreneurs during its first two years as it seeks to expand initiatives targeting the sector.

Executives with the centre, which has been named the Access Accelerator, said the $55.8m allocated by the Government to supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, will help it to launch the Economic Recovery Programme, Youth Development Fund and the Universal Pre-School Initiative.

Trinidad and Tobago

Government of Trinidad and Tobago provides assistance to tourism sector

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced an extension and expansion of the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project (TAUP) for a period of three years from October 01, 2020, to September 30, 2023.

United States

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Announce Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Awards Entrepreneur Fund $200,000 PRIME Grant to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital

The Entrepreneur Fund is set to receive a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help low-income entrepreneurs gain access to capital through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, more commonly known as PRIME. The Entrepreneur Fund is a Community Development Financial Institution that serves 17 rural counties in northeastern Minnesota, central Minnesota, and northwest Wisconsin by providing strategic business services and small business financing.


Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM): Government support to MSMEs will continue so that small businesses “keep their engines running” and continue to develop

Since the beginning of the health crisis, the Government approved incentives to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Support for MSMEs represented 9 million dollars. In addition, unemployment insurance was made more flexible. 20% of the companies that benefitted of partial insurance were in the commerce sector. This tool was effective in preserving labor ties and allowing the rapid reactivation once companies start to resume activity.

On the other hand, the Government authorized the extension of tax due dates, in particular the advance from the IRAE, ICOSA and the Wealth Tax.

Likewise, special credits were granted for the emergency: they were almost 4000 loan for an amount of 18 million dollars. Meanwhile, the National Guarantee System (SIGA) was expanded and delivered (through SIGA Emergency) almost 9,400 credits.

Call for Women Entrepreneurs 8M_2020

Women and trans women entrepreneurs are invited to present projects that promote innovation, generate substantial improvements in key areas of their companies and positively impact their competitiveness. The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mining (MIEM) will grant financing through non-reimbursable funds of 2,000,000 Uruguayan pesos.

The projects should generate improvements in products, services, processes and / or marketing and / or the strengthening of the capacities and management skills of the company, positively valuing the creation of genuine employment and in particular of quality employment aimed at young women.

Subsidy to companies: Open call for support to the biotechnology sector

The Biotechnology Sector Support Fund (FASB) opens its 2020 call. Up to 2,300,000 Uruguayan pesos will be awarded to each selected project.

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM), together with the National Development Agency (ANDE) seek to encourage the development of new lines of business and to strengthen existing ones.

      International and Regional Organizations

Caribbean Export

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has announced the launch of its first virtual expo event named ‘Absolutely Caribbean, unlocking the profit potential of the Caribbean’. Taking place on 17th and 18th November 2020, the event will bring together around 50 producers to showcase some of the best products that the Caribbean has to offer.

Caribbean Brands Featured at Leading Food, Health and Nutrition Exhibition

On October 13th-14th 2020, Caribbean Export, in collaboration with the European Union, supported four Caribbean producers participating in this years’ Food Matters Live – a leading food, health and nutrition event.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)

Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation Officially Launched

The Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC) programme has been officially launched. Representatives from the six participating member states joined the Organisers and other stakeholders for the virtual launch on Monday, 5 October. The ECPCGC which is an initiative of the World Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), presents fresh opportunities for entrepreneurs who do not now have adequate collateral to qualify for business loans.

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Caribbean Countries Call for Implementing Urgent Solutions to Support Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Authorities from more than 25 countries met with ECLAC and other multilateral organizations at the Caribbean Development Roundtable and the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Digital Transformation Key to Recovery and Building Back Better, Says New Report

ECLAC, the OECD Development Centre, CAF and the European Union launched the publication Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO) 2020.

The effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on international trade and logistics

This Special Report is the sixth in a series by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on the evolution and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes estimates regarding the pandemic’s impact on exports, imports, transportation and logistics in the region’s countries.

Organization of American States (OAS)

The OAS and WhatsApp Join Forces on Digital Marketing Solutions for MSMEs in the Wake of COVID-19

The Organization of American States (OAS) is partnering with WhatsApp Business to provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Latin America and the Caribbean access to digital tools and customized training on WhatsApp's Business app, to help them better position themselves in the marketplace.

The OAS and Dominica launch the First Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB

The Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) hosted the first-ever Dominica Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB Workshop (EIHUB) for Young Entrepreneurs. The objective of this workshop was to provide Entrepreneurs with the support and knowledge they need to manage and run profitable and resilient business enterprises.



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