The COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on the private sector and economies globally. The economic slowdown will severely affect MSMEs, as they suffer from the impact of government decreed shutdowns, supply chain disruption and demand contraction. With the containment of the crisis, the recovery phase will commence, and the firms must be ready to take advantage of the turnaround in economic activity but must first deploy business continuity strategies to support their survival.
In our fourth year of implementation of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme, Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is forced to re-visit its programme, mode of operation and how it supports the regional private sector in the midst of the crisis.
Caribbean Export, like other organisations across the world, is currently implementing significant changes to the delivery of existing services through the use of technology and exploring what additional services are required by its stakeholders during and post the current crisis. We recognise that whilst many of the challenges at the micro level remain unchanged such as access to finance and access to new markets, they will be significantly more acute and new challenges will emerge. Against this changing landscape we appreciate that the status quo cannot endure.