On May 2nd, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency announced that Social Development Bank introduced an initiative package that would provide small businesses and sole proprietorships with 9 billion Riyals ($2.4 billion USD) in Coronavirus relief funds. This could help aspiring entrepreneurs with their business set-up in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the funding, SDB is also providing a 6-month grace period for installment repayment effective April 1st. The financial boost has been given to counter the slowdown in the economy and will help businesses find the right footing again.
Of the 9 billion Riyals, 8 billion ($2.1 billion USD) will go towards assisting roughly 6,000 businesses. Additionally, the primary focus of the newly created portfolio will be entities in the health care industry as is the need of the time. According to SPA, the state news agency, the initiative will include easier, flexible financing channels through micro-funding mediators for families and self-employed individuals beginning April 1st as well. For many entrepreneurs that were in the pre-launch stage, this will help with company formation in Saudi Arabia. It will give the businesses the financial impetus it needs to incubate and grow even in these troubled times. The government has taken into account the current taxes and other financial considerations and balanced it with the initiative package.
In addition to the above, the initiative includes a health care portfolio that would add an additional 1,000 medical units in order to raise operational capacity.
As with other countries worldwide, Saudi Arabia has taken action to counteract the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic by providing financial assistance to those small businesses and self-employed entities that have suffered the most. Plus, the increase of medical units for additional operational capacity will enable the health care sector to manage any cases that may arise in the coming months. When this is combined with social distancing practices, it will help us all get through this safely.