Most small businesses could shut down in six months due to COVID-19: UNIDO

first_imgThe majority of small businesses might have to shut down within six months, as the restrictions aimed at containing COVID-19 are bringing the Indonesian economy to a standstill and destroying their revenues, according to a survey by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).Some 60 percent of small businesses might only survive six months if the pandemic restrictions were still in place, according to the survey, which involved 147 small businesses and was conducted between June and July.“There is a set of relevant policies that can be drafted based on the findings of the survey, to help industries and SMEs [small and medium enterprises] to overcome the impacts of COVID 19,” Esam Alqararah, the UNIDO representative for Indonesia and Timor Leste said in a statement on Tuesday. UNIDO suggested that the government offer a wage subsidy to help small businesses retain their workers, while also doubling down on its collaboration with e-commerce platforms to help SMEs keep selling their products amid the pandemic restrictions.“Industry 4.0 can also enhance the SME supply chain, business performance, improve digital enterprise, open new manufacturing, technological career opportunities and integrate the human capacity in the digital world too,” Alqararah said, referring to the fourth industrial revolution.Indonesia’s small businesses, which employ the overwhelming majority of the national labor force and contribute around 60 percent to the country’s economy, have been battered by the COVID-19 crisis.While a Mandiri Institute study shows that digitalized small businesses are more resilient in the global health crisis, the number of small businesses on digital platforms only amounts to around 9 million, or 14 percent of all small businesses, according to the Cooperatives and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki, quoting data from the Communications and Information Ministry. Read also: Govt bootcamp to prep 30 startups to give SMEs a digital leg upThe government has also earmarked Rp 123.46 trillion (US$8.3 billion) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as part of its coronavirus relief package. As of Sept. 28, the government had disbursed Rp 79.06 trillion, 64 percent of the budget.Meanwhile, it has also disbursed nearly Rp 16 trillion, around 72.4 percent, of the budget to 6.6 million MSMEs under the government’s productive social assistance program, according to Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the head of the national economic recovery committee on Wednesday.“In line with the President’s order, we are paying attention to MSMEs because they were the support of Indonesia’s economy in previous crises,” said Budi, who also serves as deputy state-owned enterprises minister, in a separate virtual presser.UNIDO suggested the Indonesian government improve businesses’ awareness of access to its relief package.UNIDO’s survey also found that 92 percent of the surveyed micro enterprises were expecting a more than 50 percent year-on-year (yoy) fall in revenue, leaving them the most severely hit sector.The majority of the micro businesses told the survey they would support the government in issuing a policy that could reduce rent and utility costs to cushion the pandemic’s impact.However, around half of the surveyed small businesses were expecting to recover in a month as the pandemic ended, 27 percent expected two to three months, 14 percent four to six months and the remaining 5 percent, more than six months.Ikhsan Ingratubun, the chairman of Indonesian MSME Association (Akumindo), said that based on the facts he had gathered from his members, many could only survive for three months during the pandemic-induced revenue slump.“We have faced this since February or March. Many closed in June,” Ikhsan told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Wednesday,“If their revenue remains only 10 to 15 percent [of the normal levels], it will not be enough to fund their expenses. We therefore estimate they will only last three months,” Ikhsan added.However, how long small businesses can survive the pandemic may differ from one region to another, according to the chairman.Topics :last_img read more

Sunshine Coast and Brisbane partner to increase business to the

first_imgSunshine Coast and Brisbane partner to increase business to the ‘Great South East’Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) has created a new partnership with the Brisbane Convention Bureau to host a group of nine top event planners to the region representing companies including Aristocrat Technologies, New Zealand Engine Reconditioners Association, Total Event, Massey University, S2N Events, LexisNexis, CMA Events and Orbit World Travel offices of Hamilton and Tauranga.The planners from New Zealand and Sydney toured the two regions from 14-17 July before attending Convene Queensland (a business events trade show) in Brisbane on 18 July.“This is the first-time our convention bureau teams have worked together. It just makes sense to partner with the Brisbane Convention Bureau to create joint itineraries that offer the best of South East Queensland – from nature and beaches to signature city incentive activities and unique offsite venue offerings,” said Simon Latchford, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast.“This visit, organised in conjunction with ProMag and the organiser of Convene Queensland, allowed us to host high level event planners from premium companies to experience our two regions first-hand.“Collectively, we are better equipped to service the needs of business event buyers. This is just the first step, but we are confident this initiative will increase future business and incentive group bookings for both of our regions.This is a golden opportunity to show key event decision makers what we do best,” added Mr Latchford.The visit allowed the group flexibility to fly direct from New Zealand and Sydney into Sunshine Coast Airport and following the visit, fly out of Brisbane Airport. During the visit, the group enjoyed dinner in the new private dining room at Spirit House Restaurant and Cooking School, Bush Tucker Experience with Live It Tours, Breakfast and VIP Animal Encounters at Australia Zoo. Brisbane activities included a gourmet lunch and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations at the Regional Flavours food festival, a tour of the Gallery of Modern Art’s exclusive Marvel exhibition, and a private luxury shopping experience at Queens Plaza.Brisbane Convention Bureau Acting General Manager, Juliet Alabaster, said partnering with BESC on joint itineraries would ensure business and incentive organisers could easily create the ultimate experience across both regions.“As a leading lifestyle city, Brisbane is flourishing with sophisticated venues and hotels, rich cultural attractions, exclusive major events and an eclectic restaurant and bar scene. Exciting new developments and tourism product coming online will bolster the city’s offering even further over the coming years,” Ms Alabaster said.“Partnering on joint itineraries presents an ideal opportunity to showcase how well Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast complement each other through unique and authentic experiences, which ultimately results in lasting memories for event and incentive delegates.“If the response from the event planners we’ve co-hosted over the past four days is anything to go by, demand will be strong for joint Brisbane and Sunshine Coast itineraries.”Following the visit, BESC and the Brisbane Convention Bureau will attend Convene Queensland to meet and promote their respective regions to over 200 event planners from around Australia and New Zealand.Complementing the collective itinerary creation and hosting of the business event buyers, the two convention bureaux will also jointly sponsor a breakfast event as part of the Convene Queensland trade expo.Source = Visit Sunshine Coastlast_img read more