As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the world in 2020, we began to see the scale of the impact it
would have on SME development and SME finance availability. The inevitable economic downturn placed
severe strain on SMEs globally and demanded a national and international response.
The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC), promoting the benefits of sharing best
practices and new financial and regulatory initiatives, commissioned a survey of its members on the ways
that financial centers globally, alongside national governments, central banks, regulators, and the
supranationals are responding to the economic crisis, specifically asking for information on how urgently
needed support to SMEs is being developed, directed and delivered.