Indonesian SMEs in Asia, Pacific get highest income during pandemic

A street food seller in Bogor district, West Java province. (Indonesia Window)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – A study by Meta entitled Small and Medium Business Condition Report 2022 has noted that Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were among leaders in Asia and the Pacific in generating income as much as 86 percent during the Omicron variant of COVID-19 hit.

The research which surveyed nearly 24,000 small and medium-sized businesses in 30 countries and territories was conducted in January 2022.

In an official statement in Jakarta on Thursday (March 24), Meta said the majority of SMEs in Asia and the Pacific reported that they were involved in income-generating activities, while many of their counterparts in North America had stopped their business.

However, more than half of the surveyed businesses in Indonesia indicated a relatively lower sales figure from previous years.

As a result of declining demand, about 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses in the region also reported that they had also reduced the number of employees or workers.

However, the report shows that many businesses are successful when moving to online businesses, such as in Asia and the Pacific with nearly half of the small and medium-sized businesses operating and leveraging Facebook reporting at least 25 percent of sales occurred digitally over the past month.

Furthermore, it was recorded that 22 percent of SMEs in Indonesia that operate and utilize the Facebook application reported their sales last month were higher than the same month in the previous year.

The Meta survey also shows that small and medium-sized businesses are now increasingly focuses on reopening physical stores or outlets, while continuing to operate digitally because they are considered to play a big role in boosting sales in challenging times like today.

Small and medium businesses in the Asia Pacific region also showed higher optimism than the global average.

In Indonesia, 36 percent of small and medium-sized businesses that operate and utilize Facebook are confident in their capability to remain operational for at least in the next 12 months, if the current situation continues.

But globally, only 12 percent of small and medium-sized businesses predict that they will not face any challenges in the near term, with declining demand and cash flow still being cited as one of the big challenges for SMEs.

“We are pleased to see that small and medium-sized businesses in the region are on a stable path to recovery, although there are still many challenges that follow,” said Karen Teo, vice president of APAC Small Medium Business Meta.

As the transitions to the world of hybrid retail, he stressed that she will continue to work to provide tools and features that can drive SMEs to success.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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