About 17.6% of Tunisian SMEs say they are still in a total standstill, with no recovery in economic activity, while 50.4% of them consider the recovery to be very slow and damaging, according to the 4th edition of the SME Health Barometer, MIQYES 2019 +COVID19 impact, whose results were revealed by CONECT, in partnership with UNDP and the HLB GSAudit & Advisory, on Wednesday in Tozeur.
This year, MIQYES measures both the health of SMEs in 2019 and the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs in 2020.
The survey, which took place between August 3 and September 4, 2020, targeted the same type of companies employing between 6 and 199 employees, through a representative sample of 500 SMEs, said CONECT.
Still according to this barometer, only 18.4% of the SMEs reporting that they had made a request had benefited, at the time of the survey, of government support measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition, 72.6% of SME managers expressed a desire to benefit from tax and social security extensions, tax cuts and access to cash.
According to INS statistics, Tunisia had about 735,000 private companies in 2018, of which 86.46% are one-man businesses, 10.59% employ between 1 and 5 employees, 2.81% employ between 6 and 200 employees and only 0.12% employ more than 200 employees.
If since 2010, these companies have seen their numbers grow, for the first time the trend has been reversed with a decrease of about 0.05% recorded.
However, the number of SMEs employing between 5 and 199 employees increased by about 1%.
The population of SMEs with 6 to 200 employees is now positioned as a real lever of the Tunisian economy both for growth, export, investment, employment and innovation.