SMEs in Myanmar struggle to survive COVID-19 pandemic

Small-and medium-sized enterprises have been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an industry group in Yangon.

“We plan to release data showing our members’ difficulties,” said U Min Thu, secretary of the Yangon MSME Association.

Small businesses have been closed since early September, which has damaged their chances to make a
profit, unlike large enterprises, he said.

“Some businesses decided to suspend their operations, and face losing their shops if the shop owners do not reduce their rents. Small businesses also depend on COVID-19 loans for their survival,” he said.

The government offered garment factories, hotels, tourism businesses and SMEs a one-year loan at 1 percent interest with a fund of K100 billion in its first COVID19 loan. About 10 SMEs have signed up for the second loan.

Some businesses have collapsed during the pandemic, according to the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Wholesale and retail businesses alike are struggling, especially the hotel and tourism industry,” said U Maung Maung Lay, vice president of the chamber.

“Businesses try to carry on as usual, but production and sales have drastically dropped,” he said.

Source : Myanmar Times

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