Riyada discusses challenges faced by SMEs

Business Wednesday 15/April/2020 16:39 PM
By: Times News Service
Riyada discusses challenges faced by SMEs

Muscat: The board of directors of the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, Riyada, held a meeting via video conference during which it discussed challenges looming ahead for SMEs in view of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as opportunities in the offing.
The meeting was chaired by Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Riyada Board.
Eng. Haleema bint Rashid Al-Zar’iya, In-charge of Tasks of Riyada CEO, said that the board of directors discussed the results of a questionnaire distributed to owners of SMEs two weeks ago.
More than 3,000 replies were received and the rest of the feedback is expected to be filed by the agreed deadline, April 18, after which the results will be analysed, said Al-Zar’iya.
Accordingly, Riyada and the institutions concerned will look into proposals to provide solutions to help the stricken establishments, including chances for emergency loans from Al Raffd Fund and measures previously unveiled by the government like the postponement of the Fund’s repayment instalments, and other initiatives, she said.
Eng. Haleema pointed out that Riyada board proposed changing SMEs registration terms to include Oman Technology Fund’s sharing ownership of the small businesses.
Riyada board also approved a programme for cooperation with Muscat Municipality intending to devote part of Muttrah vegetable and fruit market place (first floor for instance) to entrepreneurs, in addition to granting SMEs the right to set up and run their restaurants, Eng. Haleema said.
She added that entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in the electronic platform Zad Oman, which was inaugurated recently. Riyada is encouraging SMEs to benefit from Zad Oman to promote their products as a measure of limiting the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, she said.