On top of that, in terms of health aspects, MSME players are also prone to get infected with the virus as they have to deal directly with various customers every day.
Therefore, many MSMEs were pushed to shift their ways of selling the product and service from offline to online. During the pandemic, it was reported that internet traffic was up 15-20 percent.
With the challenges, the government came up with several programs to help the MSMEs. A stimulus package of about 123.46 trillion rupiahs ($8.5 billion) was also provided for the MSMEs, including a lending program with a lower interest rate under the microcredit program (KUR).
Social assistance of 28.8 trillion rupiahs ($2 billion) was also provided for unbankable MSMEs. Under this program, 12 million MSMEs received a zero-interest grant of 2.4 million rupiahs ($167).
It was hoped that the assistance programs would empower the MSMEs in moving the wheel of business and maintaining the welfare of the people amid the pandemic.
What are the survival strategies?
To cope with the Covid-19 challenges, the Minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises encouraged Indonesian MSMEs to embrace the digital ecosystem by promoting their products via e-commerce platforms.
Teten Masduki had previously said that only 13 percent of the MSMEs have utilized e-commerce as their platforms to promote and sell their products. The remaining 87 percent of the MSMEs were still selling their products offline.