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Leading and Managing Through The Covid-19 Crisis

COVID-19 Crisis – Preparedness Response Plan for Businesses

In December 2019, a rare and new strain of Coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. Fast forward to March 2020 with over 800,000 affected and over 40,000 dead worldwide, the World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic has slowed the country’s commerce to a crawl, regardless of the extraordinary actions some institutions are taking to propel through the crisis. COVID-19 has impacted businesses in Sierra Leone as there is uncertainty in sales, supply chains and the impact on the economy. Currently, business owners are being forced to take drastic steps to continue operating and many are fearful about their businesses futures. Business owners must be allowed to have a dialogue about the challenges they are currently facing in ensuring business continuity during the current crisis.

“Businesses should fully utilise internal and external resources, including support and advice from business organisations and the government.”

 

In this light, Freetown Business School invited key leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss the impact of the pandemic on our economy. The event was themed “Conversation with Key Leaders on Leading and Managing through a Crisis”. The Ebola epidemic left our economy tanked by approximately 20% and we anticipate that the coronavirus will have far-reaching implications. As a result of this, we must guide our business owners on how to ensure that their businesses survive this crisis.

On the 26th of March 2020, during the conversation with the key leaders, frank discussions were held about how the pandemic has affected their businesses, impact on staff retention, need for the revision of business models, and most importantly crucial requirements for their businesses to survive. FBS also invited experts in Finance, Digitisation, Finance, Tax, Private Sector Development and Human Resources to guide the participants in measures that they can institute to recognise business opportunities within the crisis and also ensure business continuity. After the event, a survey was administered to the participants to outline recommendations for policymakers to consider as they map out strategies in dealing with the crisis.

We have prepared a report titled – Leading and Managing Through the COVID-19 Crisis – Preparedness Response Plan for Businesses, detailing discussions and recommended solutions for businesses. The report focuses on six (6) key areas – Human Resources/People, Finances, Tax, Business Sustainability, Digitisation in a Changing World and Support from Government.

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