The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) has developed a three-point Action Plan to mobilise its members in offering support to the health and food production sectors in the country in the wake of the coronavirus.
In a statement to the media Monday, Kepsa Chief Executive Carole Karuga said the action plan will outline measures to support new manufacturing businesses to fill emerging gaps in global supply chains as a result of the pandemic.
“The plan will also highlight ways to encourage domestic production of essential items that were previously imported and accelerate the adoption of innovative business models and technologies required during the crisis,” she noted.
The framework seeks to advise businesses on how to offer support to government initiatives in containing the virus that has currently infected 42 people and killed one. In offering its support to the health sector, Ms Karuga notes that local businesses need to ensure that they manufacture as many health essentials as possible, saying this will help curb the virus.
“Some of these health essentials include masks, sanitisers, disinfectants, and other medical products. In addition, members have formed initiatives to get ventilators to complement government efforts. Businesses are also driving public awareness hygiene campaigns as well as producing and delivering sanitizers to the public,” she said.
Ms Karuga noted that the pandemic has heavily affected businesses in the country, saying that Kepsais seeking to engage the government in developing a framework on the stimulus package in ensuring minimal job losses by cushioning SMEs and mitigate threats to food production.
“The government has adopted many of our proposed interventions including the tax stimulus for employees, confirmation of VAT refunds and payment of pending bills among others. We will continue to engage the government on measures to cushion businesses including the informal sector, SMEs and big organizations this week,” she said.
The private sector apex body will further support businesses through a 24-hour call centre and a Covid-19 information portal where businesses will get responses on health matters for their workers as well as measures to strengthen supply chains in the ongoing pandemic.
“The call centre and information portal are open for all businesses including small and medium-sized enterprises. The portal will help combat the unfolding strain by the coronavirus on the economy by enabling the sharing of information, accesses to essential medical supplies and the continuity of supplies for local businesses,” she said.
The private sector apex body noted that businesses can contact the call centre on 1196 for any business inquiry.