The challenges of Small and Medium Enterprises under Covid-19 lockdown : a case of Kawempe Division, Uganda
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The study was aimed at investigating the challenges faced by SMEs in covid-19 lockdown and the response measures to these challenges. Data was collected from a sample of 62 respondents from the selected SMEs in Kawempe Division using a well-structured survey questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS and relationship between variables was established using Pearson’s correlation and regression analysis. The study confirmed that SMEs are significantly affected by COVID-19 crisis as they overrepresent hardest-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality, food services, entertainment services, and construction. The discovery and the spread of COVID-19 in the absence of cure have led governments to take drastic measures, including the lockdown of large parts of society and social distancing resulting in behavioral changes. Some SMEs are responding to the crisis by applying creativity to problems to obtain opportunities. However, it is because of resilience that they can see an opportunity in chaos and survive uncertain times, but to convert those opportunities to reality, some government interventions are needed to correct the negative effects of lockdown restrictions by revitalizing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The study recommended that SMEs should continue to implement different digital or innovative measures to enhance business continuity in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdown.