Jakarta, 26 June 2020 --- In the midst of a stifling Covid-19 outbreak, a fresh breeze emerged that blew towards micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), when the government issued a credit restructuring program as a stimulus for the business world to survive in the challenging condition. When this stimulus is taken and began to be enjoyed by MSMEs, optimism also grows. Obviously, the stimulus provided through financial institutions opens opportunities for MSMEs to get interest subsidies, delay installments, or extend the credit period.
With the credit restructuring, MSMEs can take a deep breath because the stimulus they get makes the company's cash flow more helpful. The long breath gave birth to energy for MSMEs in order to be able to look for various innovations, breakthroughs, or accurate strategies to remain productive and resilient amid the exposure of Covid-19.
The real picture can be seen from the experience of Ach Rifaie, a salt entrepreneur in Pamekasan, Madura, East Java, who creatively creates higher-value products than salt that is not processed in an innovative manner. Through his creative hands, local salt is transformed into boiled salt, an innovative product that is worth ten times higher than ordinary salt
"Our boiled salt has sodium chloride levels above 91%, increasing far from the previous local salt, which has only about 84%. Although the volume of white crystals produced has shrunk by 20%, the price of boiled salt has increased tenfold. Local salt only sells for Rp. 400 per kilogram, but after it is processed into boiled salt, the price jumps to Rp. 4,000 per kilogram. Boiled salt is very good for the processing of snacks and crackers, especially in the areas of Kediri, Demak, and Bali," said Rifaie in Pamekasan, last weekend.
This successful business that was pioneered in 2017 was tested in March 2020, when Covid-19 hit Indonesia. This pandemic forced the movement of people and goods restricted through the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). Consequently, the flow of distribution of goods and buyer access to obtain goods is hampered. Rifaie's boiled salt business was affected, especially in terms of marketing, as the light food processing industry in Kediri, Demak, and Bali experienced a turnover. In fact, this industry is the main consumer of boiled salt. Rifaie decided to temporarily close down his boiled salt business. He implemented a survival strategy by turning into a trader of basic needs or groceries and persevering to become an Agen46.
It was at this critical moment that the rules for credit relaxation were issued. Credit looseness is like an injection of fresh blood for his business because previously Rifaie’s business has been helped by the flow of People's Business Credit (KUR) from PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk or BNI. This BNI KUR encourages Rifaie to be able to increase his salt processing production capacity and basic food trading business. He is also able to increase his line of business to become LPG and cooking oil sub-retailer. Rifaie also joined as Lakupandai BNI Agent (Agen46) and served monthly transactions of up to 100 general transactions and 340 non-cash food aid transactions to beneficiary families.
"Credit relaxation is a breath of fresh air for disadvantaged MSME entrepreneurs like me during this pandemic. Me and my friends of the boiled salt entrepreneur thanked BNI. Hopefully this pandemic will pass quickly and our efforts will soon recover," he said.
Becoming a MSME Partner
For financial institutions such as BNI, the pandemic has become a challenging condition. "It is our ideals and pride to see MSMEs progressing and developing. Our existence has contributed and is our mandate to help MSMEs in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic through a stimulus program," said the Director of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of BNI, Tambok P. Setyawati.
BNI is committed to supporting government programs in the form of stimulus in the form of providing interest subsidies, extending credit terms, up to delaying installments to debtors whose business is affected by Covid-19. As of 19 June 2020, BNI has provided impact stimulus in regard of Covid-19 to 183,359 small and micro segment debtors with a loan portfolio of Rp 24,333 trillion. BNI will continue to implement the stimulus program in accordance with government regulations and directions.
Bambang Setyatmojo as the General Manager of Small Enterprises Division 2 of BNI added, his party optimizes the services of BNI Mobile Banking, BNI Internet Banking, BNI SMS Banking, as well as Agen46 network throughout Indonesia to become the solution amid the limitations of physical interactions currently. In addition, BNI strengthens its digital services in the form of KUR submissions using e-forms so as to cut the need to meet with credit analysts initially. In that way, BNI supports the operation of the health protocol-based business set by the government.
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Secretary BNI