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ICC has issued a call for supply chain leaders to Save Our SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting the need for clear and principled corporate leadership, ICC has today issued a call for multinational corporations to preserve their supply chains, operations and workforce as the economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ripple through global supply chains.

As the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries, ICC is witnessing the severe impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and people globally – with micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and their workers among the hardest hit.

The corporate call to action follows the global launch of ICC’s Save Our SMEs campaign, which began with a call to action encouraging governments to ensure that stimulus efforts flow rapidly into the real economy and provide direct and immediate support to MSMEs and their workers.

It states:

“Prior to the onset of COVID-19 many multinational corporations spoke of the pressing need to embrace a more inclusive capitalism, one that put all stakeholders at the heart of corporate purpose, including employees, suppliers and local communities. This trying time for MSMEs presents an opportunity for supply chain leaders to visibly demonstrate commitment to their purpose in outlining their COVID-19 response.”

In order to Save Our SMEs, global supply chain leaders are encouraged to:

  • ensure the health and safety of the workforce in the supply chain;
  • uphold contracts with suppliers and/or distributors;
  • facilitate continued business operations of the supply chain;
  • insist on integrity and responsible business conduct; and
  • advocate for stimulus efforts to flow into the real economy.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires an all-of-society effort to curtail the unfolding economic crisis and protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of MSME workers. This includes multinational corporations in their engagement with global value chains. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to corporate leadership in this unprecedented crisis, but there are many things corporates can do, from modifying payment terms to provide much-needed cash flow to suppliers, to granting credit and rent relief to distributors. Such generosity of spirit will not only help keep the global economy afloat, but will pay dividends down the line, guaranteeing a smoother resumption of business activities in the post-crisis recovery.”

Read the full Corporate Call to Save Our SMEs here.

Read the initial government-focused Call to Action to Save Our SMEs.

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