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Small businesses in Chad hit by COVID 19 barrier measures

The report on the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19 in Chad, released by the Ministry of the Economy, outlines the consequences of the barrier measures on economic activities. The commerce sector has been significantly affected. Measures taken by the government of Chad to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to the closure of markets and the shutdown of most commercial activities.

According to the report, the general trade sector most affected by the barrier measures concerns non-food stores – (hardware, cosmetics sales, ready-to-wear sales, etc.) where more than thirty thousand sales units are closed. since March 25, 2020. Then, the stalls and hawkers, film clubs, Casinos + gaming rooms and nightclubs, etc.

It emerges from this report that the dominant activity is that of non-food shops, which represents 92% of the 33,962 structures closed in the city of N’Djamena.

These shutdowns inflicted a considerable loss of income on the economic entities concerned. The turnover considered as the shortfall during the month of April 2020 is estimated at 74.6 billion FCFA. The income that should be derived from this turnover, in the form of profit, is estimated at 22.4 billion FCFA, or 30% of turnover.

The 2015 General Business Census carried out by INSEED showed that 50% of production units are based in N’Djaména and the other 50% are distributed in the rest of the provinces.

Thus, an extrapolation of the analysis at the national level would bring to 67,924 the number of closed general trade structures or about 33,962 structures for the other cities of Chad. In this regard, the shortfall in the economy at the national level can be estimated at 149.2 billion FCFA for the month of April. This amount excludes structures in the fields of transport, hotels, catering, tourism, industry and education.

According to the report, we should also expect significant job losses with the closure of these economic entities which generally fall within the urban tertiary sector which generates about 21% of total jobs and more than 85% of jobs in the urban environment, in 2018 in Chad.

Business activities not affected by these measures are those related to the sale of food and pharmaceutical products.