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SMEs gear up for fight against Covid-19 | 01 August 2020

SMEs gear up for fight against Covid-19

Ms Appoo addressing the gathering (Photo: Joena Meme)

Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development, organised a one-day training session yesterday  on Coronavirus (Covid-19) Preparedness and Awareness for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The training for restaurants, cafes, bars, discotheques, taxi operators, caterers, manufacturers and retailers was held at the International Conference Centre (ICCS) auditorium.

The aim of the training was to educate the SMEs representatives on the health and safety guidelines so that they understand the consequences it poses if they do not make an effort to implement the guidelines in force over the past few months.

The training was in line with the efforts of the department of health and other stakeholders to raise more awareness and to provide support to the business community with regard to the implementation and monitoring of the public health measures that are required to be in place before the re-opening of Seychelles to commercial flights today (August 1, 2020).

In the wake of the pandemic, a national framework was launched for all stakeholders, in the public sector, private sector and civil society, to integrate resources to properly manage and prepare everyone for the re-opening of Seychelles to the outside world.

During this process, several training sessions were organised by different parties, including ESA, where it had identified a gap whereby certain sectors of the business community are not currently benefitting from those training sessions.

In launching the training, the chief executive of ESA, Angelic Appoo, highlighted the agency’s role mandated under its Act, to despite its original training plan being affected by Covid-19, to continue to give training and support to SMEs so as to help them re-engineer their existing operating procedures to adapt to the new climate.

“We have managed to find ways to re-adapt and gear our training towards the new demands of micro, small and medium enterprises,” she said.

“I sincerely hope that whatever you learn today will be shared abundantly and that you are successful in implementing the health and safety measures in your business. You can never be too prepared,” she said.

The workshop was facilitated by Judy Jean-Baptiste (senior policy analyst) and Brigitte Zelia (pulic health officer) from the health department, who shared the health operational guidelines for food, production, retail and distribution in Seychelles and the implementation and monitoring framework matrix, and Tina Hoareau from the Safety and Standards Consultancy and Training Agency, who shared the best practices in terms of usage of masks, gloves, sanitizers and other front line measures, as defence against the spread of Covid-19.

In addition to the training yesterday, ESA managed to gather a few suppliers on site whereby the SMEs’ representatives were able to engage and order masks, gloves, sanitizers and other medical supplies for their respective organisations.

 

Patrick Joubert

 

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