Nothing has ever been the same after the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak in 2019. Wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing become the basic rule for each person when having to do duties outside. Work from home and online school are among the adaptations we have to undergo to continue our routine amid the coronavirus fear. We also need to follow some measures like strict lockdown or travel restrictions to help the government curb the virus spread.
The pandemic has also affected a wide range of businesses in the country. Some businesses experience a decline in revenue, which forces them to do layoffs and, worst, shut down the company. However, for some others, the pandemic instead provides an opportunity to thrive. UGM Center for Economic Democracy Studies (PSEK) researcher Prof. Catur Sugiyanto said that businesses in the health and food sector, especially those that process agricultural products into processed food, are the most potential to survive and develop. These businesses also tend to be able to keep their turnover steady compared to other sectors.
“It is very difficult for businesses outside the food and health sectors (to survive) because their consumer demand has decreased drastically,” he said, Wednesday (24/2).
Although it occurs to every business at all scales, MSMEs tend to have more chances to survive. People prefer to spend their decreased income on food by small businesses rather than those medium and large businesses because of their more affordable price. For MSMEs whose business type is flexible, their chance to survive and thrive in a time of pandemic and beyond is even higher.
Catur added that the surviving chance would also increase following the more innovations that MSMEs tried to apply in their businesses, such as marketing the products online and using vacuum packs to preserve food.
“These two points can maintain and even expand the market for MSME products,” said Catur.