Revisiting the Pandemic: Surveys on the Impact of Covid-19 on Small Businesses and Workers

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The Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a dramatic rollback of economic progress across Southeast Asia. While the region has managed to contain the spread of the virus better than most others, the economic impact on the region has been devastating. As a result of its heavy dependence on the tourism sector, Thailand has one of the worst affected economies in Southeast Asia. Since international travel stopped almost entirely in March 2020, Thailand’s tourism and business travel sectors have experienced unprecedented contraction. Many travel industry micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) have closed permanently as they could not survive the economic contractions brought on by Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. With each passing month, tens of thousands more Thai workers have become at risk of sliding into poverty, including many in the middle class. As the pandemic drags on, temporary job losses have become permanent, and household incomes have plummeted. This research aimed to identify the MSMEs and workers that are the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis so that policymakers and development agencies are informed about the situation on the ground, and can make informed decisions on how best to keep the country’s path to recovery on a stable trajectory.

Posted June 10, 2021
Related locations: Thailand
Related programs: Economic Opportunity
Related topics: Covid-19, Tourism