Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Sustainability/Survivability of Micro/Small Sized Businesses in Nigeria

  •  Anthony Wakwe Lawrence    
  •  Damiete Onyema Lawrence    


Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is currently the biggest crisis affecting the world. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of millions and is impacting the economic lives, ways of life and at least psychological health of most people. We used Port Harcourt as area of study to understand if sizes and types of these businesses affect sustainability/survivability in relation to the impact of COVID-19. We administered questionnaires to 568 business owners/mangers of 11 business types of the two sizes (micro and small). The information gathered were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative means and also presented graphically. The micro-sized businesses were more successful in terms of their abilities to continue getting patronage, getting supplies, retaining workers and eventually making profit during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. Those whose products were considered more essential in relation to lockdown and health circumstances: fruit sellers, online enabled businesses, Point of Sale units (POS), drugs and petroleum product sellers thrived better than others. Considering the subsistent level of existence of these micro and small sized businesses, their major needs are effective provision of credit facilities and availability of other supportive business interventions including provision of palliatives/relief measures during crisis to real business operators and not to ‘ghosts’ by government and others to sustainably grow their businesses. As population pressure increases, with the attendant rise in unemployment rate, recommendation is made for business entrepreneurial skills to be incorporated into all levels of educational curricula to facilitate greater chance of success for those who choose the business pathway.

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