COVID-19 Business Response Platform

Contact(s)

Roberto Suárez Santos

Secretary-General
suarezsantos@ioe-emp.com
+41 (0) 22 929 00 00

This page serves as a dedicated hub for business information on the COVID-19 virus outbreak

      Health and safety information and useful links

      International SOS (IOE partner) page on COVID-19

      Society for Human Resources Management (IOE partner) page on COVID-19

      World Health Organization (WHO) page on COVID-19

      Business news from countries and responses from IOE members

      Africa

      Benin (in French)

      • Limitation à l'extrême nécessité des entrées et sorties aux frontières terrestres de notre pays. Seules les traversées indispensables seront autorisées en liaison avec les autorités des pays voisins.
      • Restriction de la délivrance des visas d'entrée au Bénin.
      • Mise en quarantaine systématique et obligatoire de toute personne venant au Bénin par voie aérienne.
      • Suspension de toutes les missions à l'extérieur du pays pour les membres du Gouvernement et pour les cadres de l'administration publique, sauf en cas d'urgence absolue. Les structures et les personnes du secteur privé sont invitées à observer la même prudence.
      • Suspension de toutes les manifestations et tous autres événements non essentiels à caractère sportif, culturel, religieux, politique et festif.
      • Suspension des préparatifs du pèlerinage à la Mecque en cohérence avec les dispositions prises par les autorités saoudiennes.
      • Obligation pour les transporteurs en commun de doter leurs employés ainsi que les passagers en masques ou bavettes appropriés, et de respecter les distances de sécurité sanitaire entre occupants.
      • Recommandation aux personnes éplorées de limiter au strict minimum les obsèques de leurs défunts et de différer les manifestations subséquentes.
      • Recommandation aux responsables religieux de faire respecter, lors des cultes, la distance de sécurité sanitaire d'au moins un mètre entre fidèles, d'éviter les poignées de mains, les accolades et tous autres gestes contaminants.
      • Obligation pour les banques, supermarchés, bars, restaurants, entreprises et autres établissements recevant du public, de prévoir des mesures de protection et d'hygiène, et de faire observer par les clients et usagers, la distance de sécurité sanitaire entre eux.
      • Mise à disposition par l'Etat, au profit des pharmacies, supermarchés et autres structures, de stocks de masques de protection dont les prix seront encadrés pour rester accessibles à l'ensemble de nos concitoyens.

      Conseil National du Patronat du Benin - CNP-BENIN

      • Mise en quarantaine des agents qui reviennent de congés
      • Pas de réunion de plus de 10 personnes
      • Assistance de médecin de travail

      Proposition du CNP-BENIN pour favoriser une reprise économique rapide une fois la crise passée :

      • Recensement des entreprises concernées à travers une enquête
      • Veille pour le suivi de la situation
      • Plaidoyer auprès du Gouvernement pour des mesures d’allègements fiscaux
      • Plaidoyer auprès des banques pour revoir les échéanciers et faciliter l’obtention de crédit à taux réduits

      Namibia

      Namibian Employers' Federation - NEF

      • The Namibian tourism industry is hardest hit by COVID-19 and the expectation is that it will soon have a negative ripple effect on all sectors.
      • Many events and gatherings are being cancelled in light of the Government’s announcements on Saturday, e.g. cancellation of sporting events, the mining expo and many others that will similarly have a negative impact on the Namibian economy.
      • Government made the following announcements:
        • No inbound or outbound flights from Germany, Ethiopia or Doha
        • Closure of schools for four weeks
        • Independence celebrations for 21 March called off
        • All travel by Government officials suspended
      • The NEF received enquiries from its members about staff management during the pandemic and we are sending out guidelines with interpretations of our Labour Act
      • The NEF distributed the business continuity management plan as prescribed by the ILO to all members
      • Many companies are circulating guidelines on preventative measures

      South Africa

      South Africa: Impact of trade disrupting COVID-19 on South African business- PWC

      Many of South Africa’s industries will see an adverse impact from COVID-19, including mobile operators, automotive manufacturers, as well as hospitality and retail establishments. Three out of four Chinese tourists to South Africa undertake personal shopping activities – China has a burgeoning middle class opting to spend money internationally. The size of the potential decline in Chinese arrivals in South Africa is hard to gauge at present.

      Togo (in French)

      Conseil National du Patronat du Togo - CNP-Togo

      Un cas a été déclaré officiellement et maitrisé à ce jour. Pour le moment nous ne disposons pas encore de l’évaluation de l’impact de la pandémie du coronavirus sur les entreprises togolaises. Mais il y aura probablement des répercussions négatives dans la mesure où notre économie est extravertie et dépend en partie de l’Asie et de l’Europe. On note l’arrêt d’approvisionnement de certains produits fournis par la Chine. Ceci entraine la hausse de leur prix et l’arrêt temporaire de certaines entreprises faute de matières premières.

      Outre les mesures sanitaires, aucune autre mesure n’est prise par le Gouvernement pour atténuer les conséquences de cette pandémie pour le secteur privé dans la mesure où l’activité économique se poursuit normalement. Les entreprises sont sensibilisées par les autorités publiques et l’OMS sur les dispositions à prendre pour se protéger de la maladie. A ce stade rien n’est prévu pour favoriser la reprise des activités des entreprises car la plupart sont encore en exercice. Aucune mesure n’est encore prise pour préserver les emplois et les discussions en ce sens ne sont pas encore engagées à ce sujet.

      Le CNP-Togo a publié un communiqué à l’intention des opérateurs économiques pour la mise en application des dispositions sanitaires à prendre sur les lieux de travail.

      Americas

      United States

      US: New COVID-19 bill supports small business owners. A recent COVID-19 bill allows small business owners across the U.S. to qualify for a federal disaster loan if they're facing economic injury.

      The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury in an eligible disaster area. Congress approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

      Canada

      Canada: Ottawa announces $10 billion business credit line, plans to roll out stimulus package as COVID-19 spreads

      Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Friday that the government will establish a $10 billion credit facility to lend money to businesses under stress as a result of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

      Antigua and Barbuda

      The government announced a 30-day ban on all parties, festivals and similar social gatherings. Foreign nationals who have traveled to and from China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past 28 days are not being allowed in. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.

      Argentina

      Licencias y la modalidad de trabajo remoto para empleados del sector público y privado, en el marco de las medidas impulsadas por el Gobierno Nacional en relación al coronavirus (COVID-19).

      The country is closing its borders to all non-resident foreigners. While cruise ships will be allowed to refuel and take on provisions, passengers cannot disembark.

      Aruba

      Complete “lockdown” for all international incoming passengers starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 17 until March 31. Residents will still be able to enter, but the government is advising against nonessential travel. Cargo will continue to be able to be flown in and relief flights will be possible as long as the airline is willing to operate them.

      Bahamas

      Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy,South Korea, and Europe in the last 20 days. Residents will be subjected to quarantine for a maximum of 14 days if they have visited the countries. After it registered its first confirmed case, the government closed schools until April 14. All national sporting events and permits for use of public spaces suspended.

      Barbados

      Restriction on public gatherings to no more than 100 people, suspension of visits to nursing homes and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.Arriving passengers from China, Italy, Iran and South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days.

      Barbados Employers' Confederation has developed a response and guide for employers across Barbados on managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace.

      Bolivia

      Starting Wednesday, March 18, travelers from Europe’s Schengen bloc, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iran would be banned from entering the country. Previously, travelers from Spain, China, South Korea and Italy were barred.

      Asia

      Japan

      The central bank aims to ensure that companies hit by the outbreak do not face a financial squeeze.

      Financing will focus on small and tiny businesses in need of financing over the next two to three weeks.

      Malaysia

      Malaysia: Measures to Assist Businesses and Households Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

      To assist businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is allocating RM3.3 billion of financing facilities under BNM’s Fund for SMEs to provide support for SMEs in sustaining business operations, safeguard jobs and encourage domestic investments.

      South Korea

      South Korea: South Korea announced a $9.8 billion stimulus package on March 3, 2020.Among other things, it includes small and medium business subsidies to help companies pay workers.

      Some 2.3 trillion won will be allocated to medical institutions and fund quarantine efforts, with another 3.0 trillion won going to small- and medium-sized businesses struggling to pay wages to their workers, and childcare subsidies, the finance ministry said.

      Korea Enterprises Federation - KEF

      • KEF led the tripartite declaration along with the FKTU (Federation of Korean Trade Unions) and ESLC (Economic Social Labor Commission) to cooperate and overcome the crisis in response to the economic recession caused by the spread of the COVID-19.
      • Made proposals to the Government, such as expanding loans to the affected companies, postponement or partial exemption of social insurances and taxes, and deregulations related to business management in order to minimize possible economic damage caused by COVID-19.
      • Planning to conduct a survey with companies regarding their management difficulties and propose to the Government, for example, adaptive measures such as introducing flexible working hour system and home working, lay-offs due to management difficulties and expanding support for paid leaves.

      Australia

      Australian government signals second round of stimulus as market tumbles 9.7%

      The Morrison government has signaled a second round of stimulus is coming for sectors bearing the brunt of the economic shock triggered by the coronavirus pandemic including airlines, tourism, events, sport and the arts – as it redoubles efforts to stave off a crippling downturn.

      Europe and Central Asia

      Ireland

      Ireland. Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses

      Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

      Enterprise Ireland is working with all government stakeholders to ensure that businesses are prepared and informed on the most up-to-date advice and supports available.

        Germany

        Germany: Germany authorized its state bank (a bank run by the government, but not a central bank), KfW, to lend out as much as $610 billion to companies to cushion the effects of the coronavirus.

        This is the biggest aid package in the country’s post-War history; no upper limit to credit offered by KfW. Financial support in the works for firms forced to halt work and send staff home. Government to boost investments by €3.1 billion per year between 2021 and 2024.

        Belgium

        Belgium announces confinement until 5 April.

        Sweden

        Sweden : Sweden's central bank says it will lend up to 500 billion kronor ($52 billion) to companies via the banks to keep them from "being knocked out as a result of the spread of the coronavirus."

        This includes proposals for short-term layoffs, where employers' wage costs could be halved but the employee would still receive more than 90 percent of their salary, and the state would step in to cover the difference.

        United Kingdom

        Budget 2020: Chancellor throws a multibillion-pound cash lifeline to businesses to help them through coronavirus crisis

        'Whatever it takes': chancellor announces £350bn aid for UK businesses

        Measures to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus outbreak include a "temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme" for banks to offer loans of up to £1.2m to support small and medium-sized businesses.

        Switzerland

        Switzerland is keeping aside 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.5 billion) as immediate assistance to support businesses hit by coronavirus.

        For companies that are particularly badly hit, the government said it has allocated 1 billion francs for direct financial assistance or bridging. Small and medium-sized business with financial bottlenecks can access up to 580 million francs in guaranteed bank loans.

        France

        France has already put in place many measures to respond to the crisis:

        • Deadlines for the payment of social and/or fiscal contributions.
        • In the most difficult situations, direct tax rebates may be decided on the basis of an individualised examination of the applications.
        • Support from the State and the Banque de France to negotiate with one's bank a rescheduling of bank loans.
        • Maintaining employment in companies through the simplified and reinforced short-time working scheme.
        • Support in the handling of a conflict with customers or suppliers by the Business Ombudsman.
        • The recognition by the State and local authorities of the Coronavirus as a case of force majeure for their public contracts. Consequently, for all State and local government procurement contracts, penalties for delays will not be applied.
        • Guarantees for bank loans: The State guarantees up to 300 billion euros all bank loans taken out by companies with banks.
        • Solidarity Fund: A solidarity fund of at least 1 billion euros will be created for micro-entrepreneurs, for the smallest businesses, for the self-employed, who have less than one million turnover and who have lost, between March 2019 and March 2020, 70% of their turnover.
        • Suspended taxes and contributions: targeted measures for small businesses, after those for the deferral of social security and tax charges and for short-time working paid beyond the minimum wage.
        • Suspended bills and rents: Water, gas and electricity bills as well as rents will be suspended for these companies. Fixed costs will also be reduced by the saving of rents, especially for businesses that have to close.
        • Partial unemployment covered: The State will fully cover partial unemployment requested by companies penalized by the spread of the new coronavirus, including beyond the minimum wage.

        North Macedonia

        The first measure taken by the Government is direct financial support of liquidity to micro, small and medium-sized companies by the Development Bank of Northern Macedonia. A total of € 5.7 million has been provided to directly lend to companies due to insolvency, ie companies whose economic activity has been affected by coronavirus. Each company, depending on the number of employees, can receive from 3 to 30 thousand euros. What is important here is that these loans are interest-free, with an interest rate of 0 percent, the grace period will be 6 months and the repayment period is 2 years.

        The second measure relates to support for companies in the payroll sector so we want to make it clear that it is important for us to help preserve every single job! We have therefore made efforts to facilitate the payment of salaries during this period of uncertainty and provide subsidies to employees in companies from the sectors of tourism, transport, catering and other affected companies for the months of April, May and June of 2020, with a subsidy on contributions per employee up to 50% of the average salary paid in 2019,

        The government has been fully mobilized to deal with the economic consequences of the crisis which will be inevitable. Therefore, in the following period we continue with dialogue and negotiations to evaluate the effects of existing measures and to find new ones. The government is also starting active talks with international financial institutions and partners to assess the opportunities and challenges in the financial markets and how we can deal with them or even use them in the interest of the domestic economy.