Survey: COVID-19 Results in Shutting Down 45 Percent of Businesses in Kuwait

Published May 21st, 2020 - 12:00 GMT
Survey: COVID-19 Results in Shutting Down 45 Percent of Businesses in Kuwait
The Kuwait Business Impact Survey gathered key insights from 498 Kuwaiti businesses that were profitable in 2019 across 13 different sectors. (Shutterstock)
A Business Impact Survey published by Bensirri PR (BPR), an independent corporate, financial and political communications firm based in Kuwait revealed that since Kuwait instituted lockdowns to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in March, 45 percent of business owners said they have suspended or shutdown their businesses. Another 26 percent are on the verge of collapse after seeing their revenue drop by more than 80 percent. The report is the only COVID-19 related Business Impact Survey conducted in Kuwait and available on KuwaitImpact.com.
 

The study also revealed that 32 percent of respondents have adjusted employee hours or salaries in clear violation of Kuwait's labor law. 15 percent have already started laying off staff instead of waiting for legislation to pass as Kuwait enters its third month of the crisis. 56 percent of business owners also confirmed that they cannot afford to cover their fixed costs for another two months under the new status quo.

The Kuwait Business Impact Survey gathered key insights from 498 Kuwaiti businesses that were profitable in 2019 across 13 different sectors, and provides decision-makers with a direction to better understand policy decisions surrounding the future and sustainability of the Kuwaiti economy in a post-COVID-19 environment.

When asked about their outlook on market recovery, 45 percent of Kuwaiti business owners expect slower economic activity to extend into 2021, while 52 percent said it will take up to two full years for revenue to return to 2019 levels.

The survey also found that only 15% of business owners are fully aware of the economic stimulus package announced by the Kuwaiti government, and 81% of respondents said that current government policies are harmful to their business when asked about their sentiment towards the government's handling of the economy.

The Business Impact survey also conducted a sector-specific analysis for 13 different sectors across the economy to look at contrasting issues and found the following as most hurting:

  • Retail: 36 percent have suspended operations, while 46 percent had a revenue drop by more than 50 percent but were still operating when the survey was conducted

  • Construction, Contracting, Architecture: 39 percent have suspended operations, while 31 percent had a revenue drop by more than 80 percent but were still operating when the survey was conducted

  • Professional Services: 46 percent have suspended operations, while 37 percent had a revenue drop by more than 50 percent but were still operating when the survey was conducted


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