SMEs will benefit from the raft of new assistance measures announced in Oman

The new phase of assistance will give SMEs the momentum needed to continue to focus on growth.

Muscat: Small and medium enterprises in Oman will benefit from the new raft of measures announced by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.

His Majesty issued a series of directives to assist SMEs during a meeting with the Council of Ministers on May 31, 2022.

Among the measures provided is the availability of additional packages of subsidies for SMEs, entrepreneurs and insolvent people. Furthermore, to alleviate the pandemic impact of COVID-19, the package includes some subsidies and payment of overdue fees by traders.

These include waivers for entrepreneurs holding Riyada cards (for beneficiaries of emergency loans) issued by the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, waivers from fines and fees to be paid by SMEs against delays in Lender Portfolio loans (earlier called Al Raffd Fund) until the end of this year and waivers on payments of overdue fees from entrepreneurs and SME owners faced with prison charges, following prosecution for bad checks obtained with insufficient funds.

Measures also include the deferral of lawsuits against individuals/establishments that do not comply with the provisions of the loan agreements signed with the Lender Portfolio until the end of 2022.

“Times were difficult for us during the COVID pandemic because of a severe collapse in business, as is the situation around the world,” said Saeed, who runs a 3D printing firm. “Things are just starting to develop again, and this support we’re receiving is indispensable.”

Ali, who runs a transportation business, added: “We all have rising bills so they were grateful when the government released its support package for us. We were a bit worried about how we were doing. will continue when support ends, but now that new help has arrived, it will give us the momentum needed to continue to focus on growth.

Dr Ahmed Al Hooti, ​​head of economic studies and a board member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that now that SMEs are covered in this package, his organization will try to get help for to companies severely affected. through supply chain disruptions and price increases.

“We find that many companies around the world are suffering from the current conditions,” he said.

“We believe these packages can help, perhaps not all SMEs and business communities, but at least some of them will benefit from this type of package.”

Al Hooti added: “We are still hoping to get better provisions from the government, to help the sectors that have been severely affected, not because of the coronavirus, but because of rising prices, and because of disruptions in supply chains, which make things expensive. ”

He added: “We want banks to be flexible to help the private sector, help with soft loans, reduce interest rates, we also ask them to split the time it takes for companies to pay bills. loans, and we also need more projects in the country to make our economic engine spin faster. ”