So in 2020, when Covid-19 finally hit this part of the world, the situation was already delicate. In addition to the thousands and thousands of closures of SMEs and businesses caused by the economic crisis — an alarming 10% contraction in the overall economy — there was the confinement of the population and the total closure of existing businesses due to the increase in contagion and preventive policies. In March of that year, the IMF declared Argentina’s debt unsustainable and advised deferred payments for foreign currency until 2024.
The new government of Alberto Fernández arrived as four out of ten Argentines were living below the poverty line. Remarkably, this administration was pro-cooperative, offering the sector support in the form of subsidies, preferential credit, tax relief and a national register of the recovered businesses.
Perhaps more remarkable was the fact that 10% of Argentina's GDP in 2020 was produced by the cooperative sector, which now amounts to some 20,000+ businesses.