Title: Pandemic threats: how SMEs can respond to the challenges from global crises

Authors: Ratan J.S. Dheer; Aidin Salamzadeh

Addresses: Department of Management, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, USA ' Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has levied an unprecedented impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), many of which laid-off employees, lost customers, experienced supply chain disruptions, witnessed financial uncertainties, and saw closures. Despite such sufferings, our knowledge of how these firms can decrease their vulnerability and respond to externally induced crises is incomplete. This manuscript contributes to filling this gap. Based on crisis management literature and studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs, we distil key measures that can enable these firms to mitigate the adverse effects of crises while also leveraging the opportunities these offer. We discuss the boundary conditions and advantages of these measures. Our objective is not to offer a complicated and extensive framework that SMEs may find difficult to adopt but to illustrate key themes that could provide them with a roadmap to manage the adverse effects of external shocks. Implications for scholars and policymakers are outlined.

Keywords: pandemic; COVID-19; small and medium enterprises; SMEs; small business; crisis management strategy; crisis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2022.10045029

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2022 Vol.13 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Received: 11 Dec 2021
Accepted: 11 Jan 2022

Published online: 09 Jun 2022 *

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