➔ Remote working related applications and functionalities training. ➔ Specifc sector’s development programs that would enhance the skills and competencies of SME workers and employees.
6- Taxes and duties
In the domain of taxes and duties, the frst focus of African governments should be to:
● Render tax systems applicable for SMEs simple to understand and follow while avoiding multiple taxation, complex tax regulations and lack of proper enlightenment or education about tax related issues and multiple taxes to pay. In this context, digital resources, simulation tools and paper brochures should be made widely available simplifying ● Exemption of SMEs from taxes while in the setup phase should be implemented as a nationwide strategy until a turnover threshold is achieved to help SMEs grow and become efective economic growth levers. ● To reduce corruption related to fling / reporting and paying of taxes, the process should be digitized, and the auditing made simple. ● Given the scale of the efects of the pandemic on African SMEs, Tax Authorities should be encouraged that emergency measures and stimulus packages reach small businesses and their workers at the speed and scale required and provide tools to SMEs to help them navigate this difcult period. ➔ Small businesses should be granted an extension for fling a tax return and for fling and paying local taxes or allowed deferred fling with no interest or penalties charged. ➔ Deferral of VAT tax payments at least two to three months without penalties. ➔ Exemption of VAT payments for small businesses within a determined turnover threshold during pandemic crisis and new waves.
7- Business sustainability
COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the criticality of Management of Business Continuity. There is no doubt that a high level of expertise is needed to address the full complexity of Business Continuity Management for SMEs with particular attention given to the fne details of corresponding measures. The role of public authorities should be directed towards: ● Raising awareness about the importance of BCP and promoting the good practices associated with it. ● Establishing a platform specially dedicated to African SMEs with examples of successful Business Continuity Measures drawn from several small-scale businesses. This platform should be populated with examples and useful templates of BCP researchable by several keywords conveying best-practices. ● Public policy should encourage business leaders and sector icons to become involved in preaching the benefts of having an up to date BCP for all SMEs well adapted to their risk profles.
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