In mid-March, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Bahrain, Tamkeen, following the Royal Directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, alongside the Government’s announcement of the financial and economic stimulus package, preemptively launched a new initiative called the Business Continuity Support Program.
The objective of the program was to help small and micro-enterprises in Bahrain’s private sector limit the extent of financial challenges caused by the pandemic. The move was well-thought-out and planned meticulously, given that it has successfully aided thousands of businesses and professionals to sustain their operations and revenues even through the wide-ranging precautionary measures in place.
What is Tamkeen’s Business Continuity Support program?
The most critical component of Tamkeen’s Business Continuity Support program has been the financial package extended to a large number of small and micro-enterprises. During the initial phases, any business with fewer than 50 employees and a revenue/capital worth less than BHD 1 million was eligible for the program.
Among other perks, all qualifying businesses were paid a part of their monthly expenses so they could continue operating and pay the salaries of employees during the pandemic. Depending on the number of employees, each business received a financial grant of anywhere between BHD 1,050 and BHD 12,000.
The financial grants to businesses dealing in the sectors most adversely affected by COVID-19 were later doubled in July. Additionally, necessary amendments were made so businesses and professionals previously left out by the program could be supported during this challenging time.
The Business Continuity Support program also extended its circle of beneficiaries to include taxicab drivers, public transport, and bus drivers, driving instructors, and kindergarten and nursery workers. Tamkeen announced last week that the program has so far helped out more than 1,914 saloons, 393 restaurants and cafes, about 350 travel offices, and 205 gyms, besides countless other startups, as well as small and micro-enterprises.
Here’s what beneficiaries of Tamkeen’s Business Continuity Support program are saying
As always, to get a firsthand gist of the kind of impact Tamkeen’s much-appreciated initiative actually has on the ground, we recently talked to five of its beneficiaries, including (in no particular order):
- Noora Al Haddad – Managing Director of Creo Innovative Solutions
- Khaled Almoayyed – Managing Director of Almoayyed Creative Agency
- Ahmed Al Shafei – Crave Restaurant
- Ali Foolath – Captain Burger
- Karim Yazji – Founder & CEO of BrykApp
Here’s what they had to say about Tamkeen’s role in their triumph over the COVID-induced financial and operational challenges:
“I’ve benefited from the Business Continuity Support program for three months. The process of requesting support was straight forward and streamlined – Tamkeen’s team has been helpful, responding to support inquiries efficiently. Tamkeen’s Business Continuity program is crucial to the sustainability of micro-enterprises and SMEs in Bahrain during these times and it is a reflection of Tamkeen’s commitment to the development of Bahrain’s economy.”
“When I launched my business 4 years ago, Tamkeen was my 1st line of support with their Business Development program (Marketing, Equipment, and IT). As our team grew, we applied for the Training & Wage Support program, which we have found to be a big help as a start-up. Our assigned Account Managers and staff at Seef/Enma Mall were always helpful when it came to applications and requests, so the process was never too complicated.
It’s not easy to fund all your start-up requirements, so having an entity like Tamkeen to give you that needed push and support during such time is something I’m grateful for, and without it, my agency wouldn’t have grown as comfortably as it did and built its current reputation or standards. Their programs, including the recently launched Business Continuity Support Program was a blessing as it helped sustain our business during this pandemic. I thank them for the part they played in my career trajectory.”
“We have applied and qualified for the Business Continuity Support program. Being in the F&B sector and mainly depending on walk-in customers and dine-in orders, we were granted a monthly support amount for the months of April, May and June 2020. The process of requesting support was very straightforward and easy. I believe the program was really needed and successful and the funding and support greatly helped with the continuity of our businesses. We are really blessed to be a part of this support program in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
Ali Foolath – Captain Burger
“Captain Burger Restaurant received invaluable support from Tamkeen through the Business Continuity Support program. The support received helped in reducing the fixed cost burden on the business. Requesting the support was an easy and smooth process, the process required a brief about the business and how it was affected by COVID-19 prior to the support approval, in addition to documents and receipts outlining our monthly expenses. The Business Continuity Support program was very useful for my business as it has covered a good portion of the monthly salaries. I can clearly say that the support provided helped my business continue its operations to date.”
“We have received support for the business continuity program for two of our companies, ASK Real Estate and BrykApp. The process of requesting support was very user friendly, streamlined, and efficient. Clear responses that helped us complete the application correctly and quickly. One of the biggest challenges for SMEs is cash flow and this program has been a tremendous support during these challenging market conditions. We have managed to continue operating both business units without having to do any downsizing or staff cuts thanks to the Tamkeen Business Continuity Program!”
Have any questions or feedback on Tamkeen’s Business Continuity Program? We’re just a message away. Feel free to drop a line using any of our social media channels over at Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and we’ll get back to you asap.