It has been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic came to India and caused widespread havoc. The virus got noxious day by day even after the implementation of a nationwide lockdown.
This catastrophe was and is still so devastating that it has latched itself on to the economy of the country like a deadly sting of a bee. Though no sector has been left untouched by the pandemic’s spell, the small-scale industries have been hit very hard.
Indian small-scale industries play a key role in India’s export business. 45% to 50% of the Indian export is being contributed by Small Scale Industry sector. Unfortunately, this key business sector has been blown severely by the situation.
More than 80% of the small-scale businesses have suffered a negative impact due to Covid-19 and 70% expect that would take a year for their demands to recover to the pre-pandemic times, as observed by the survey of Dun & Bradstreet, a provider of commercial data, for businesses.
The survey also found out that 60% of the small business would require more support including initiatives by the government to stand up to the ill effects of the pandemic.
It further pointed out the 3 top challenges that might hinder these small businesses to expand, which are- market access (42%), improving the overall productivity (37%), and having access to more finance (34%).
During this time digitization in various sectors and even small businesses have earned them cost reduction and productivity. Small scale businesses have cut their costs by 54% during the time.
The Managing Director of Dun & Bradstreet India says “globally, digital adoption has been accelerated by 7 years due to the covid-19 crisis”.
The pandemic has aggravated the problems of credit facility, market support, and technological advancement that already persisted in pre-covid times.
“Given the intensity and duration of Covid-19, these problems will continue to exist in near future,” says Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet, India.
STEPS TO TACKLE THE SITUATION:
- Government should allocate funds to these small businesses through financial institutions. These institutions must provide loans at low rates.
2. These banks must provide loans after obtaining minimum security.
3.The gap between the customer and producer must be bridged through effective marketing, by organizing fairs and exhibitions.
4.The licensing procedure must be simple and at ease.
5.Technological support must be provided to these businesses for their modernization.
6.Training must be provided to entrepreneurs in technological, managerial, financial, and marketing areas.
We as the citizens of our country and potential customers of the small businesses must also contribute to uplifting them.
After all, what is more, heartwarming than lighting someone’s home and life?
WHAT WE CAN DO FROM OUR SIDE?
There are many small small steps that we can take, for instance,
instead of buying packed flour, we can purchase grains and get them ground from the small local mills.
We can privately fund small incense stick manufacturers and help them in their progress.
We can buy dry snacks from local bakery shops.
Likewise, we can support many other small businesses in our everyday life and bring a difference to them.
After all, helping others is not just a responsibility but it gives real meaning to our lives.