The International Trade Centre publishes report assessing the impact of COVID-19 on small business

The International Trade Centre has just published a report entitled COVID-19: The great lockdown and the impact on small business 2020.

The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2020 analyses the impact of the pandemic on small firms, international supply chains and trade. It provides projections and a 15-point action plan for businesses, policymakers and business support organizations to weather the crisis – and gear up for a ‘new normal’ that needs to be resilient, digital, inclusive and sustainable.

The report combines analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on firms based on a large-scale global survey, with case studies and a thought leader viewpoint. The projected drop in supply chain trade is evaluated by region, and in 85 country profiles.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis, affecting human health and economic welfare across the globe. It is first and foremost a health crisis, with governments around the world taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Yet the pandemic has also resulted in a planet-wide economic slowdown, affecting trade, investment, growth and employment. The World Trade Organization estimates that world merchandise trade in 2020 could fall sharply, between 13% and 32%. Estimated global losses in GDP growth currently hover around 5 percentage points.

Country profiles, specially designed for this edition and available for 85 economies, provide a detailed forecast of how the lockdowns in China, Europe and the United States will affect international supply chains.

Findings from this global COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, presented in this report, suggest that one in five small firms may go bankrupt within three months. For every bankruptcy, closed store, unpicked crop or drop in online orders, people will lose jobs and families will, in many cases, lose their only income.

The report goes beyond the immediate crisis response by looking into the future. Countries are standing before the stark choice of national or regional blocs in permanent lockdown versus a more carefully and jointly managed open world. The International Trade Centre stands firmly on the side of the latter, by charting in this report a path out of the economic crisis that is true to the values of the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. The International Trade Centre supports small business through the COVID-19 crisis.

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Tags: COVID-19 | SMEs |