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The aim of this study is to tell a story about how the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affects small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), using Saudi Arabia as an…
The aim of this study is to tell a story about how the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affects small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), using Saudi Arabia as an example. In particular, this study explores how SMEs in Saudi Arabia address needed changes in their survival strategy in the market during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This reflective essay is based on the “White Paper 3” of the Global SME Policy Network (GSPN). The GSPN is a global think tank based in Saudi Arabia. As one of the founding leaders of the GSPN and one of the authors of White Paper 03, the author writes this reflective essay based on the interviews of the Chief Executive Officers of 111 SMEs in Saudi Arabia. The interviewees were from six administrative areas including Al-Baaha, Eastern Region, Madinah, Makkah, Qassim and Riyadh. Importantly, 84.7%interviewees were from Riyadh.
The government has provided significant efforts and stimulus package to keep stable employment and small and medium businesses. A majority of the companies were satisfied with the stimulus packages announced by the government. The author believes that organizations need to monitor and evaluate all the developments associated with the spread of the emerging virus and to develop and implement contingency plans to meet any undesirable circumstances arising from COVID-19 pandemic.
The author believes that the role of SMEs in economic transformation and Vision 2030 is imperative. The author observes that Saudi Arabia is working to increase the contribution of SMEs to gross domestic product from 20% to 35%. Other countries should continuously evaluate the SME impact because of the COVID-19 and continue the support based on the evaluation report such as Saudi Arabia.