MSME Clearinghouse:  Newsletter

arrow COVID-19 Policy Responses (May 2020):
This is the third 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 third inventory is in no way exhaustive.

OAS-Facebook Initiative to Help MSMEs Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19

Perspectives for the Tourism Sector in Jamaica (English)

  • Roundtable: Perspectives for the Tourism Sector in Latin America (Spanish)

  • Roundtable Brasil: Ações concretas de apoio à pequena empresa (Portuguese)

  • Roundtable: The importance of being digital (Spanish)

  • Mitigating the COVID-19 in Guatemala (Spanish)

  • Roundtable: Public Policies to support MSMEs in Latin America (Spanish)

  • Country Policy Responses
    The Bahamas

    A Small Business Recovery grants programme – launched in partnership between The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) – will offer grants up to $6,000 to qualifying businesses.


    The Small Business Association (SBA) recently held a webinar entitled, “The New Normal – The Advent of E-Business”, to better equip the local small business sector for this transition.


    The federal government is offering more help for landlords and cash-strapped small business owners who can’t come up with their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Start-ups in the COVID-19 era: Facing challenges and seizing opportunities


    With the web portal, the Government launched a centralized tool where businesses can check the measures taken to support the business sector in the face of the COVID-19 emergency.

    Costa Rica

    69 small and medium-sized Costa Rican businesses will be able to access non-reimbursable funds for productive transformation, and in this way, be more competitive. These SMEs are the winners of the IV Green Growth contest and the Discover II contest, initiatives that seek to improve the profile of environmental sustainability and the export capacity of Costa Rican SMEs; and the diversification of agriculture, fishing and attracting investment in rural areas.


    The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica signed an agreement with the Dominica Agricultural Industrial (AID) Bank to assist small businesses owners. Those impacted by the pandemic can apply for small loans with a 1% interest, generous terms and a fast 48-hour turnaround.

    The first level of the MSME Virtual Financial Management Training hosted by the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) and the Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD) took place via Zoom on Thursday,May 7th, 2020.


    Small Business Grants To Be Paid in May.

    MSMEs encouraged to adopt business continuity plan.


    The health emergency has affected small and medium-sized companies throughout the country. Many of these companies are seeking financial relief to survive in the coming months and through our solidarity we will be able to help them.

    In Mercado Solidario anyone can support these businesses through local consumption, at home and in advance.

    The program to support family businesses registers more than 830,000 people. They will be able to receive financing of 25,000 pesos to stimulate and reactivate the local economy.


    More than 70,000 MSMEs will be able to access the National Recovery Plan

    With the creation of a National Recovery Plan (PNR), more than 70,000 micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) will be able to access activation programs, preferential credits and loans. This is a rescue project that will be developed by the National Government, through the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI).


    The FAE-MYPE also provides credits to Foreign Trade and Tourism companies

    The fund has S / 800 million to provide credit guarantees that allow companies to continue their operations.

    Government grants an additional S / 4 million to the Emprende Tourism Program to support tourist Micro Enterprises

    Saint Kitts and Nevis

    St Vincent and the Grenadines roll-out PRYME and PRYME-plus programmes.

    Trinidad and Tobago

    Additional help would be provided for small and medium businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consideration will also be given to extending existing COVID-19 relief measures if necessary.

    United States

    Digitally Empowered: How Digital Tools Power Small Businesses Amid COVID-19 found that during the COVID crisis 76% of small businesses are relying more on digital tools than before, and 74% of small businesses expect to be back to business as usual within six months of restrictions being lifted. Additionally, nearly one-third of businesses surveyed said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or part of their business during the COVID crisis.


    At the request of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, the national electricity entity will exempt educational and cultural institutions from the payment of fixed charges and power between April and August. In addition, it allows hotels and restaurants to finance 70% of their bills until November, without fines or surcharges, and pay them in installments beginning payments in December.



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