By: Amalia Sukmawati)*
The pandemic has shaken the economy, including MSME entrepreneurs. The government helps MSMEs not to collapse and then go out of business, with programs that are expected to be healthy for their financial situation.
One of the areas that have the most negative effects during a pandemic is the economy. People’s purchasing power has dropped drastically because some have had their salaries cut by the company, and some have even been laid off. MSMEs also complained that their shops were empty, because people prefer to buy basic necessities and basic needs rather than secondary or tertiary ones.
To help MSME entrepreneurs, the government provides assistance in the form of a productive micro business banpres (BPUM) which has been given to 11.8 million MSME entrepreneurs, since 2020. The amount of BPUM is 1.2 million rupiah, which is channeled directly to them through a state-owned bank. Disbursement to this account is also made to avoid extortion and other mistakes.
MSME entrepreneurs can check whether they are included in the banpres recipient through a special website. Usually, if their names are registered with the Cooperatives and SMEs Office, they will automatically receive them. After knowing that you are entitled to receive a presidential ban, you just have to come to a state-owned bank and bring your ID card and other identity cards as requirements.
Meanwhile, the government also provides assistance to MSME entrepreneurs in the form of a 3% KUR interest subsidy which is extended until December 2021. With this subsidy, MSME entrepreneurs get a KUR interest discount, from 6% to only 3% per month. It is hoped that assistance from the government will ease them so that they can pay off their loans on time, even though it is still during the pandemic.
Why is there a KUR interest subsidy? The reason is because there are still many MSME entrepreneurs who have loans to private banks, state-owned enterprises, and finance companies. They are gasping for air in the midst of a pandemic and are having a bit of a hard time paying off installments. It is hoped that with the subsidy, no one will miss his loan, because there is assistance from the government.
The Minister of Cooperatives and MSMEs stated that there was other assistance from the government in the form of facilities and encouragement for MSME entrepreneurs to enter the digital world. During the pandemic, there has been a 7.9% increase in MSMEs entering the realm of online marketing. The government helps by developing platforms and training, so they know how to market via the internet.
Various aids are provided by the government for MSME entrepreneurs, because they are the backbone of the Indonesian economy. If MSMEs are healthy, the state’s finances are also healthy. Therefore, it is natural that small and medium entrepreneurs are assisted by the government, in order to survive in the midst of a pandemic.
Small and medium entrepreneurs are often assisted by the government because there is a positive domino effect behind them. If a small and medium-sized business loses money and then goes out of business, its employees will change to jobless status. This will make the country dizzy because the unemployment rate increases.
However, if MSMEs are healthy, their business can grow and their employees are safe from the threat of dismissal. Even small and medium-sized businesses can be more successful and add more employee slots, because they need more help for production, marketing, etc. This will help the government in reducing the unemployment rate in Indonesia.
Assistance from the government for MSME entrepreneurs is highly appreciated, because they can still survive even though they are in the midst of the onslaught of the pandemic. Indeed, people’s purchasing power is declining, but we are sure that this situation will not last long. Slowly the situation will improve and the MSME business will run smoothly again, thanks to the Banpres and various other assistance provided by the government.
)* The author is a contributor to the Central Java Literacy Forum