In Togo, 62% of private businesses keep payroll intact despite Coronavirus

Economic governance
Monday, 11 May 2020 14:20
In Togo, 62% of private businesses keep payroll intact despite Coronavirus

(Togo First) - A recent survey conducted by the Togolese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIT) reveals that more than ⅔ of private businesses operating in the country have kept all their employees working, despite being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, the study entitled “Effects of the Covid-19 on economic activities” also indicated that more than 92% of the 1,084 surveyed businesses had recorded a fall in their revenues between February and March, due to the crisis. In detail, 34% of the firms reported a fall exceeding 75%, while 62% of them said they lost nearly half of their earnings over the period considered. 

According to the document, job cuts, though minimal, were mostly reported by small businesses. 

Still, Germain Mèba who heads the CCIT, said things could get worse “if the pandemic were to persist for more than three months.” In such a case, the survey notes, “more than 92% of private businesses may not be able to clear their debts, and more than 84% of them will not be able to pay salaries.” 

Recommended solutions 

To better cope with the current crisis, and the government’s response, the private sector has recommended a few measures to public authorities. 

Among these measures, private businesses asked for the “postponing, at zero-cost, of debt payments to lenders, special loans, and tax reliefs in favor of large businesses to mitigate Covid-19-related risks.” Another request includes the exemption of personal income and corporate income taxes. 

Also, the State could provide SMEs a guarantee to secure financing, or concessional loans, to make these businesses more resilient to the Coronavirus’ impact. 

Regarding social measures, private companies mentioned the need for the government to subsidize “actions aimed at protecting employees and customers against the pandemic.” 

Let it be recalled that the government, to prevent the current health crisis from taking a heavy toll on the private sector, has already adopted a battery of economic, financial, fiscal, and social measures. 

Séna Akoda

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