88% of business endure Covid wrath

By Hilary Mare

A SECOND Covid-19 survey carried out by the Namibia Statistic Agency (NSA) has revealed that 87.8 percent of businesses are adversely affected by Covid-19 compared to the 96.
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5 percent that was reported in the first round of the survey report that was released in May.

A convenient sample list of 619 formal businesses across 16 sectors of the economy was used for this survey with an overall response rate 58.5 percent.

The first round of the survey covered a period of April 30 2020 to May 11 2020 while the second round of the survey was conducted from the 27th of July 2020 to 7th of August 2020.

“The objective of the survey was to deliver near real time information that provides an impression of the effect of Covid-19 on the businesses.
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The survey measured the prevalence and nature of adverse effects from coronavirus experienced by these businesses operating in Namibia. The results will help in understanding the dynamic effect of Covid-19 on the businesses and provides areas for further research that will provide the much-needed information to the policy and decision makers,” NSA Statistician General and CEO, Alex Shimuafeni said last week.

The survey indicated that almost half of the businesses (48 percent) continued to trade partially as compared to 50 percent that operated partially during the first round of the survey. This was followed by 31 percent of businesses that indicated they continued to trade at full capacity, an increase when compared to 21.2 percent of businesses that cited to be operating at full capacity during the first round of the survey.

The survey further revealed that 20 percent of the businesses cited to have temporarily closed, a slight decline from 25.2 percent of businesses that were temporarily closed during the first round of the survey. Only one percent of the businesses cited that they were permanently closed compared to 3.5 percent recorded during the first round of the survey.

Although the government introduced some relief packages in order to mitigate the impact of coronavirus, the survey results show that only 23.7 percent of the businesses managed to obtain such relief packages during this period.

A significant amount of businesses (30.2 percent) reported to have laid off workers during the state of emergency period, thus an indication of rising unemployment during the prevailing pandemic period.

“I would also like to express my appreciation to our international stakeholders, more specifically the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) who financially supported this survey of Covid-19 effect on selected businesses,” concluded Shimuafeni.