JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The number of Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gaining access to social assistance programs is expected to increase.
Indonesian SMEs are considered the most affected sector during the coronavirus pandemic, and the government predicts that a significant number will be unable to weather the coronavirus pandemic without assistance.
Minister of Indonesian Cooperatives and SMEs Teten Masduki confirmed the outlook.
“There are 40 surveys about the impact of Covid-19 on SMEs around the world which expects around 50 percent of SMEs will close,” said Teten.
The figure is troubling considering the impact Indonesian SMEs can have in salvaging the Indonesian economy.
SMEs were deemed to be the lifesaver of Indonesia’s national economy during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis.
“At the time, SMEs were the heroes of the national economy because they recorded a 350 percent growth in exports,” said Teten.
Unlike the Asian Financial Crisis, the coronavirus pandemic has posed limitations on the free movement of people.
Therefore, the existence of Indonesian SMEs has been put at risk especially since most depend on daily income.