Over half of SMEs unlikely to survive six months without government support
The Federation of Thai SMEs has warned that small and medium-sized enterprises faced a serious crisis, with 13 per cent at risk of not surviving three months, and 40 per cent likely to close down within six months.
Federation chairman Sangchai Theerakulwanich urged the government to help SMEs by suspending loan principal and interest payments for at least six months.
"Banks must stop charging interest on the principal part, as SME entrepreneurs are severely affected by the lack of income due to the coronavirus crisis,” said Sangchai.
The lockdown measures announced in 29 provinces have affected operators a lot because their economies together make up more than 70-80 per cent of the country's gross domestic product. He said many businesses suffered from severe liquidity crisis, especially SMEs.
If no additional measures are implemented by the government, there will be many operators in the NPLs list with total debt of THB430 billion, he warned.