Fast Facts

Floriana Borino Trade Analyst, International Trade Centre

How do firms cope with the COVID-19 crisis?

Globally, the two most common strategies for businesses to cope with the COVID-19 crisis have been to reduce working hours temporarily and teleworking.

However, the pandemic showed that selling online and creating new products are the two most successful strategies for small businesses in remaining resilient.

Africa is the region with most firms starting to sell online (30% of firms) compared to 18% in Asia, 20% in Europe and 28% in Americas.

20% of firms in developed countries created new products, compared to only 13% of firms in developing countries.

Recommendations to policymakers:


Bridge the digital divide both within and across countries to allow small businesses to reach customers around the world.


Invest in skills and innovations.


ITC calculations based on ITC COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, with data collected between April and August 2020, from 4694 companies in 136 countries.


The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used, on this map are for information purposes only. They do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations of any disputed boundary, and are without prejudice to a mutually acceptable political solution consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.


Keeping cross-border trade thriving

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on business

And what is your resilience strategy?

Supporting small businesses on the brink


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