Friday, June 18, 2021

business

Up to 80% of SMEs hit by lack of liquidity, 100,000 may close for good if Covid crisis persists


About 70 to 80 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are suffering from a lack of liquidity since the third Covid-19 wave hit Thailand in late March and 100,000 could close for good, warned Saengchai Theerakulwanich, president of the Federation of Thai SMEs, calling for urgent government help.

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“The federation estimates that about 2.7 million small businesses and 400,000 medium enterprises are having trouble keeping their businesses afloat,” he said.

“If the Covid-19 situation persists for another 2-3 months with no signs of recovery, more than 100,000 SMEs might have to shut down for good.”

Saengchai said the government needs to provide soft loans of at least THB250 billion to help SME operators.

“The loans should target primarily small and medium businesses with maximised accessibility to make sure those in need can get financial aid without obstacles,” he said.

“If the loans have too many restrictions, only strong entrepreneurs who do not really need them will be able to get them,” he warned.

“Besides providing new loans to SMEs, financial institutes must offer debt moratoriums and grace periods on interest for existing loans previously taken by entrepreneurs,” Saengchai said.

“This is to make sure these operators can stay afloat long enough for the economy to recover and they can then make a profit to pay off their debts,” he added.

Published : May 12, 2021

By : THE NATION