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The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on MSEs in Fulfilling the Needs of the People of Kupang City in the Pandemic and New Normal Era

  • Anthonius B. Mesakh
  • Apriana H.J. Fanggidae
  • Yoseba Pulinggomang
  • 733-750
  • Jun 4, 2024
  • Public Health

The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on MSEs in Fulfilling the Needs of the People of Kupang City in the Pandemic and New Normal Era

Anthonius B. Mesakh1, Apriana H.J. Fanggidae2, Yoseba Pulinggomang3

1,3Business Administration Science, University of Nusa Cendana, Kupang, Indonesia

2Management- Economic and Business Faculty, University of Nusa Cendana, Kupang, Indonesia

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2024.805053

Received: 01 February 2024; Revised: 27 April 2024; Accepted: 02 May 2024; Published: 04 June 2024

ABSTRACT

This research aims to find out and analysis the impact of Covid-19 on meeting people’s needs in the Pandemic Era and the New Normal Era. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed MSME business activities in Kupang City. This research is descriptive research with a qualitative approach by observing and interviewing informants. Currently the role of Micro Enterprises is the main concern of the Indonesian government. Micro businesses are the largest part of MSMEs which are one of the pillars of the economy. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit micro businesses, they were able to try to survive and continue to serve the needs of the community by adapting to new conditions and complying with health protocols so that their business continued to run even though their income had decreased. there was an increase during the pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on micro businesses, resulting in a decline in production, sales and income, but they are still trying to serve the needs of the community both face to face and online, and transacting via cash and bank transfers. The media used to serve customers and consumers are WhatsApp and Facebook. These good methods or practices are still carried out in the new normal period, both in terms of service, transactions and consumer basic needs and personal health.

Keywords: Impact; Pandemic Covid-19; New Normal Era; Community needs; fulfillment, Micro Business; production; sales;, income.

INTRODUCTION

From the end of 2019 to the end of 2022, Indonesia was hit by the  Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and the Covid-19 pandemic that occurred globally had a major impact on not only the health sector but various sectors, especially the economic sector. In Indonesia, almost all business sectors experienced losses due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic [1] due to policies limiting activities and mobility of people to and from certain areas, limited working hours, working from home or at home. The results of Fiona and Rahmayanti’s research concluded that MSMEs, which support the economy in Indonesia, were in fact the sector that was first and most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic [2].

There are various government appeals and policies that require people to limit social interactions to fulfill various needs and require MSME players to limit business operational activities, which has a huge impact on income and business continuity as indicated by a decrease in sales turnover. This phenomenon has seen quite a few MSMEs stop operating during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, some MSME players choose to remain afloat in the midst of an uncertain economic situation, but are required to adapt to various new habits for the continuity of the business they run [3]. In general, the impact felt by MSMEs is a decline in sales, causing turnover or income to drop drastically [4]. However, Micro Businesses continue to strive to serve consumer needs during the Covid-19 Pandemic, even triggering the emergence of new micro business actors offering masks, hand sanitizers, food and drink delivery services, and other products related to preventing and protecting oneself from Covid-19 Pandemic, and also micro businesses using more digital technology by utilizing social media.

In practice, developments in the economic sector in Indonesia are driven by the MSE and MSME sectors, which have a major contribution in improving and meeting community needs. This business is what drives the economy of society and the country where business transactions can run as they should, and if these transactions will make a positive contribution and lead to economic strengthening and growth [5].

Based on the results of a survey conducted by National Development Planning Agency in 2020, generally MSMEs experienced a decline in income ranging between 40-80%. This decrease in revenue was followed by a decrease in margin/profit level which was dominated by a decrease of 40-89%. This is due to reduced sales so that MSMEs are forced to reduce their bargaining position (bargaining position) in order to attract buyers, such as providing discounts, bonuses, ease of transaction terms, or delaying.

The condition of MSMEs amidst the Covid-19 pandemic continues to experience a decline in capacity, starting from production capacity to a decline in income [7]. MSMEs in Tanjung Pinang City, for example, are facing a significant impact on their income. Of the six types of craft businesses, tourism, services, trade and culinary, only the agribusiness sector experienced an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic. The business sectors that experienced the highest decline in income were crafts and tourism, namely 69.2% and 78.8% [8]. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many MSME activists have reduced the amount of goods produced, lowered sales prices, and even carried out employment terminations (PHK) which could trigger an increase in the unemployment rate in Indonesia again [9].

Nationally, as much 27% of micro-scale food and beverage businesses were affected by Covid-19 and 1.77% of small-scale businesses (www.katadata.co.id/ekarina/digital, 2020). Micro, small and medium scale businesses in the culinary subsector in Kupang City, especially those doing business in office areas, schools, campuses and recreation areas, are also experiencing similar things so that their business cash flow is disrupted in addition to limited supply and availability of raw materials and other problems related to the market. debt, technology, and customer relationships [10]; decreased sales, raw material constraints, hampered distribution, difficulties with capital, and hampered production as reported by 37,000 MSME players to the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs( www.Kompas.com, 17 April 2020 [11].

Nevertheless, quite a few MSMEs continue to strive to survive and try to survive if necessary to develop in the difficult times they are experiencing. Apart from many MSMEs experiencing losses and even closing, on the other hand, there were also quite a few business entities that were able to survive during the pandemic. MSME business actors who are able to survive the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic are those who are able to adapt to the conditions currently being faced, including using e-marketing strategies that can be used to maintain business and also develop MSME businesses as per the results of the study [2]; or marketing with digital marketing, strengthening human resources, carrying out innovation, creativity and improving services to consumers [12], even the emergence of new MSMEs offering products related to health and preventing Covid-19. MSMEs that still exist are MSMEs that have implemented and joined in the digital ecosystem, considering the change in consumer behavior from offline to online. The spread of the Corona virus is what has caused changes in consumer behavior, and a change from direct markets to online markets, thus having an impact on MSMEs in meeting various community needs, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the new normal era.

This condition is also experienced and implemented by Micro Businesses in Kupang City which are spread across five sub-districts so that income and sustainability can usually be sustainable by opening new business fields from home by utilizing existing technology. Because of this situation, people spend more time using the internet to meet their daily needs by shopping via e-commerce. The new normal era then opens up business opportunities for the community, especially for existing MSMEs that are hampered by the pandemic and for people who want to start new businesses.

The changes that occurred during the pandemic and after the new normal had an impact on Micro Enterprises (UM) in meeting community needs. The previous situation made people reluctant to leave the house, so they became less productive due to the policy of limiting activities outside the home and travel, after the new normal will UM be able to become active again and increase its income or vice versa? For this reason, researchers are interested in conducting research on the topic “The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Micro Enterprises in Meeting Community Needs in the Pandemic Era and the New Normal Era.”

Paying attention to the problems that occur in five sub-districts in Kupang City, the researchers formulated the research problem as follows: What is the impact of Covid-19 on Micro Enterprises in meeting the needs of the people of Kupang City in the Pandemic and New Normal Era? What are the efforts of micro business actors to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the new normal era? To answer research problems, the aim of this research is to find out and analyze the impact of Covid-19 on meeting people’s needs in the Pandemic and New Normal Era.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are all productive Micro, Small and Medium scale businesses that provide goods and services to meet community needs. According to Law No. 20 of 2008, it is confirmed in Article 1 Number 20 of 2008 that a micro business is a business in the economic sector owned by an individual that meets the requirements and criteria for MSMEs regulated in the Law. Small businesses are productive economic businesses that stand alone, which are carried out by individuals or business entities that are not subsidiaries or branches of companies that are owned, controlled, or are part, either directly or indirectly, of medium or large businesses that meet the business criteria. small as intended in this Law. Medium Enterprises are productive economic enterprises that stand alone, which are carried out by individuals or business entities that are not subsidiaries or branches of companies that are owned, controlled, or are part either directly or indirectly with Small Businesses or Large Businesses with total net assets or annual income as regulated in this Law.

The criteria for MSME businesses according to Law No.20/2008 are:

Table 1. Criteria of  MSMEs

Scala business Criteria ( Rupiah)
  Assets Omzet
Micro Max  50 million Max 300 million
Small >50- 500 million > 300 juta-2,5 M
Medium >500 millon-10 billion >2,5 – 50 billion
Large >10 billion >500 billion

Source: Law No.20/2008 about MSMEs [13]

In accordance with Government Regulation N0.07 of 2021, Micro Businesses have business capital up to a maximum of IDR 1,000,000,000.00 (one billion rupiah) excluding land and buildings where the business is located; or have annual sales proceeds of up to a maximum of IDR 2,000,000,000 (two billion rupiah) [14].

The characteristics of Indonesian MSMEs based on various research results are; (1) The types of commodities/goods in the business are not fixed or can change at any time. (2) The place of running the business can be moved at any time, (3) The business has not implemented administration, even personal finances and business finances are still combined, (4) The human resources (HR) in it do not yet have a capable entrepreneurial spirit, (5) Usually The educational level of human resources is still low, (6) Usually MSMEs do not have access to banking, but some have access to non-bank financial institutions, and (7) In general they do not have business permits or legal documents, including tax ID number. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) currently dominate the Indonesian economy so that they can be said to be the backbone of the Indonesian nation, but they still have weaknesses and obstacles in running their business so they absolutely need to be empowered.

The objectives of empowering MSMEs according to Law No. 20 of 2008 concerning MSMEs Chapter II (Article 5) are as follows: (1). Realizing a balanced, developed and just national economic structure; (2). Growing and developing the capabilities of MSMEs to become strong and independent businesses; (3). Increasing the role of MSMEs in regional development, job creation, income distribution, economic growth and poverty alleviation [13]. The reason for empowering MSMEs is that businesses participate in absorbing labor, substituting consumer goods and semi-finished goods, and are a large contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The number of MSMEs according to data from the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs is 64.19 million and is dominated by Micro and Small Enterprises (UMK) at 63.13 million or the equivalent of 99.92% of all existing business sectors so the existence of these MSMEs is really needed (https://kemenkopukm.go.id/uploads/report/1617162002_ SANDINGAN_DATA_UMKM_2018-2019.pdf). Meanwhile, MSMEs in Kupang City, according to the Cooperative Department report, in 2017 saw 10,352 UKM units in Kupang City, increasing to 14,762 in 2021 [15], meaning there was an increase of 43% or an average increase of 8.5% per year.

Because MSMEs in Indonesia are the driving force of the national economy which is very reliable in facing various crises, when MSMEs were affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Indonesian government attempted to empower and restore MSME businesses with several policies, namely: (1) postponement of principal installments and interest, (2) ) credit interest subsidies, (3) tax incentives, (4) regional incentive funds, (5) Special Emergency Working Capital Stimulus for MSMEs affected by Covid-19, (6) Working Capital guarantee, (7) investment in Hambara Bank, and (8 ) Productive Presidential Ban. This policy was successful in supporting a large number of MSMEs to survive and develop during the Covid-19 Pandemic until they entered the New Normal Era, although according to other research results it is known that not all MSMEs experienced a decline in sales and closed their businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic [16].

In relation to the title of this study, the concept and criteria for Micro Enterprises used in this research are in accordance with Law No. 20 of 2008 concerning MSMEs and combined with BPS criteria (based on the number of workers) as used by Jati, et al [10] .

Covid-19 Pandemic

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic is a condition where disease transmission increases in number, the spread of the virus occurs suddenly and spreads to various countries which can affect many people (Aeni, 2022) in [17]. Corona disease was first detected in Indonesia on March 2, 2020 and WHO officially declared the Covid-19 pandemic on March 9, 2020.

The Corona -19 virus first appeared at the end of 2019 in Wuhan and then spread and spread rapidly to several countries and globalized so that the World Health Organization (WHO) since March 11, 2020, announced the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has reached 312 countries with 26,415. 380 cases and the death rate reached 3.3%, in the ASEAN region it reached 4,592,952 cases, death rate reached 1.8%, and in Indonesia it reached 190,665 cases with a death rate of 4.2% and the highest globally (Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, 2020). East Nusa Tenggara Province is also exposed to Covid-19 with 191 confirmed cases with a cure rate of 83% while in Kupang City there are 126 cases with a 1.58% mortality rate (East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Health Office, 6 September 2020) who are travelers from the other regions namely Malang and Makassar [10].

In order to suppress the increase in cases of exposure to Covid-19 pandemic and Indonesian people who are exposed to Covid-19, the government urges and establishes policies to stay at home, large-scale social restrictions in various regions, avoid crowds or keep your distance (social distancing) and work from home (work from home), washing hands, and using masks also change people’s behaviour. This situation has triggered changes in people’s behaviour in meeting their needs, namely that people now prefer to shop online, especially through e-commerce.

Changes in the behavior of society in general and consumers in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic have also changed the business behavior of business actors. When the government issued and implemented a policy known as the 3 M’s (washing hands with soap, using a mask, and maintaining distance), it created a need for washing soap, hand sanitizer, ordering food online, thus opening up business opportunities for MSMEs in the hygienic goods business. such as soap, alcohol, masks, gloves, “Grap food” services, and provision of other basic necessities online. The use of internet technology in marketing has proven to be able to help MSMEs who have utilized or quickly adapted to technology to be able to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic triggered and forced people to adapt to existing conditions in accordance with the restrictions issued by the government, as well as MSMEs trying to survive by adapting according to environmental demands.

This pandemic condition seems to force people to stay indoors and reduce outside activities, causing the price of goods to soar. According to Barisa [18], wholesalers who previously supplied goods in large quantities now have to reduce the number of goods supplied. This step was taken because buyers feared that the high price of the goods would not be sold. Tarigan, et al argue [6] that the key to the successful recovery of MSMEs lies in the ability of these MSMEs to adapt to survive in pandemic conditions. Some efforts that can be made are to maintain liquidity and cash flow, adapting to existing conditions

The facts and descriptions presented show that the Covid-19 Pandemic has not only had a negative impact on MSMEs but has brought and created business opportunities for Micro Enterprises that have the ability and willingness to adapt to the environment and their needs during the Pandemic and the New Normal Era of Covid-19. This statement This is confirmed by the research results of Darmawulan et al [19] showing that not all MSMEs felt a decline in sales turnover and had to close their businesses, there were MSMEs that were still stable and experienced an increase in their sales turnover because they made adjustments in terms of products and implemented several marketing strategies to survive. There are several things that MSMEs can do, including choosing to open new product lines or updating their marketing systems, because businesses that are able to survive are businesses that are responsive to changes in their environment.

Community Needs

Humans are economic and social creatures so that every attitude and action always leads to economic and social action. Economically, behaviouris always related to the allocation of resources to achieve certain goals. Economists have expressed various opinions about the economy which is closely related to meeting needs. According to Dinar and Hasan [20] social science studies human behaviour in society individually or collectively, in an effort to fulfil   needs in order to achieve prosperity. Meanwhile, needs are defined as desires that arise from within humans and must be fulfilled because if they are not fulfilled, they can disrupt their survival [21]. In general, according to the intensity of fulfilling human needs, human needs are divided into three, namely primary needs (clothing, food, shelter), secondary needs and tertiary needs. The basic needs that must be met and enjoyed by all rational people are the need for food, clothing and food, while other needs will be met when these basic needs have been met.

People’s consumption patterns are basically classified into fulfilling primary, secondary and tertiary needs. Primary needs are needs for adequate survival. Basic needs that humans must fulfill. Primary needs include clothing (clothing), food (eating) and shelter (shelter). Secondary needs are needs that support primary needs such as education, health and entertainment. Meanwhile, tertiary needs are needs that are created in the interest of lifestyle and prestige [22]

Abraham Maslow proposed five human needs based on their level of importance starting from the lowest, namely physiological needs, security needs, social needs, ego needs, and the highest is the need for self-actualization. According to Maslow’s theory, humans try to fulfil their lower level needs first before fulfilling higher needs. Consumers who have been able to fulfil their basic needs, other higher needs usually emerge and so on [23]. It was further explained that Abraham Maslow considered people’s needs to depend on what they already had, so that a need that had been fulfilled was not a motivating factor. Human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of interests, namely, physiological, security, sense of belonging, esteem, and self-actualization [24]. Thus, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory describes how a person reaches the level of need and satisfaction, then that person will pursue the next higher need in the hierarchy [25].

Human needs based on Maslow’s Level of Needs Theory are: (1) physiological, which are basic human needs, namely the needs of the human body to maintain life. These needs include food, drink, water, air, shelter, clothing, recovery from illness, rest, sleep, and adequate oxygen. (2) Security and Safety Needs. A sense of security is a second level need after basic needs. This is a need for protection for the human physique. Humans need protection from criminal disturbances, so that they can live safely and comfortably, freedom from threats, namely security from threatening events or environments. Health and recreation are part of security and safety needs. (3) Social needs are needs based on a sense of belonging and belonging so that they can be accepted by the people around them or their environment. These needs are based on the need for humans to relate to one another, the need for friendship, grouping, interaction and love. (4) Esteem needs, namely the need for self-esteem and respect from other parties. Humans have a strong ego to be able to achieve better achievements for themselves or better than others, so they need appreciation and to be appreciated by others, and (5) Self-Actualization needs, which are needs that are based on the desire of an individual to make themselves into the best person according to their potential and abilities. An individual needs to express himself in an activity to prove himself that he is capable of doing that thing.

Life experience and a number of studies show that fulfilling the needs of human life or society should not be met in stages, but there are certain needs that can be fulfilled simultaneously, it is not necessary to fulfill the needs at the previous level before the needs at the next level are fulfilled.

Grouping the intensity of needs fulfillment as per the views of Abraham Maslow [23] and Andriani [22] for now and since the Covid-19 Pandemic, Health needs are no longer seen as secondary needs that will be fulfilled after food, clothing and shelter have been fulfilled but have become primary needs and can be fulfilled simultaneously in an effort to maintain health resilience and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, such as the health of individuals and families.

Changes in consumption patterns for various people’s living needs since the pandemic to the new normal era have now become an opportunity for Micro Enterprises to develop businesses related to meeting basic needs, health and hygiene needs as well as products intended to maintain and improve body fitness.

METHODOLOGY

What is the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Micro Enterprises (UM) and changes in consumer behaviour due to the policy of limiting human mobility during the pandemic period which has triggered the need to change behaviour and business development to meet the needs of the people in Kupang City both during the Covid-19 Pandemic and during New Normal Era. One of the characteristics of qualitative research is observation and interaction between researchers and research subjects to understand and interpret a phenomenon. According to Creswell (2012) qualitative research means the process of exploring and understandingthe meaning of individual behaviour or humanitarian problems to discover and understand central phenomena [26]. The data sources that the author uses are primary and secondary data. Primary data was obtained from online questionnaire answers via Google Form. Secondary data was obtained from various relevant and recent journals, magazines, newspapers and books as reference points in this research. This research is aimed at Micro Business (MEs) actors in the city of Kupang who manage trading businesses, sellers of foodstuffs, food and drinks, as well as other needs related to health protocols (masks, gloves, alcohol and hand sanitizer which are spread in several strategic places in the city of Kupang, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and during the New Normal Period. All material obtained through questionnaires, interviews and from the literature was analyzed descriptive qualitatively.

RESULTS

Profile of Micro Business Actors

The informants in this research were 30 people with details: 40% men and 60% women; 23% of micro business actors have basic education, 40% have secondary education and 37% have higher education. In terms of education, the informants are dominated by high school/vocational school students, indicating that they have the knowledge, skills and creativity to build and develop micro businesses. The age of micro business actors varies but is dominated by the productive age, namely in the range of 25-65 years old as shown in the following picture:

Figur 1. Age of Micro Business Actors

The business fields run by 30 Micro Business actors before the Covid-19 Pandemic and in the New Normal Era are:

Table 2.  Type of Business from Micro Business Actors

Type of Business Prosentase
Nine  basic necessities 20%
Food and Drink, 33%
Vegetables and herbal ingredients 13%
Personal Health Necessities 20%
Laundry Services 13%

Source: Primary data, 2023 which is processed

The dominant business managed by Micro Enterprises is food and drink, whether located at home or in open places, in this case public places prepared by the Kupang City Government as recreation facilities (city parks) which are used by Micro Enterprises to serve visitors. The places in question are: Oepoi Culinary Tourism, Nostalgia Park, Kampung Solor Night Market Culinary, Public Works Roundabout, Penfui Air Force Culinary Complex, and Kelapa Lima Next Generation Park. New businesses developed by Micro Business actors since the Covid-19 Pandemic and the New Normal Era are Personal Health needs in the form of: three-layer masks, gloves, alcohol, hand sanitizer and other items related to preventing exposure to Covid-19. Apart from that, Micro Business actors who sells vegetables as well as herbal ingredients which can be used to increase the body’s immunity in dealing with and preventing exposure to Covid-19.

The length of business carried out by Micro Business actors varies as shown below:

Figure 2. Long Time in Business

Data shows that the majority of businesses developed by business actors are over five years old (69%) and 10% of new businesses are less than three years old, including businesses that have only emerged since the Covid-19 Pandemic which were also maintained in the Normal Era. new now (2023) such as: drinking water depot, mini fuel Depot and Mini ATM.

The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Micro Business

The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic nationally, according to research results from the Indonesian Central Statistics Agency, shows that as many as 7.28% of MSEs stopped operating, as many as 11.94% opened after June 2020, as many as 15.45% temporarily stopped operating due to regulations (Large-Scale Social Restrictions), while as many as 4.68% temporarily stopped not because of regulations (raw material difficulties, marketing difficulties, bills), so that MSEs experienced a decrease in income of 67.77%, but there were as many as 60.64% who never closed [27]. This fact indicates that during the Covid-19 pandemic, not all businesses of MSEs were closed but income experienced a decline due to a lack of buyers.

The survey results showed that meeting people’s needs was very limited during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many micro businesses or entrepreneurs closed due to lack of capital and lack of product purchases from consumers. The results of an interview with Mr. Dani, owner of the Pelita Kasih Kiosk in Maulafa Village, stated that “during the pandemic, sales activities remained active but customers decreased so that the income earned was only enough to meet daily food and drink needs.” The same thing was conveyed by Mrs. Yane and Father Daud, sellers of vegetables and spices, “during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to temporarily stop our activities (selling vegetables and spices) because people didn’t dare leave the house, as a result, our sales didn’t sell, so we made a loss.” The same information was obtained from informants Mrs. Eva Sujanti and Mrs. Chandra, members of the culinary bazaar at BTN Kolhua, as well as Mrs. Nur Miyanti who sells in the Oepoi Kupang Culinary Tourism Area, that since the Covid-19 Pandemic and the government has imposed restrictions on the mobility of people and goods in Government Regulations Number 21 of 2020 concerning Large-Scale Social Restrictions in the Context of Accelerating Handling of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) we cannot carry out food and drink sales activities as usual so our income decreases or even disappears because there is no sales activity, there are no consumers who dare to come to the sales place (bazaar and Oepoi Culinary Tourism Area).

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a very detrimental impact on everyone, especially MSMEs. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a very negative impact on the Indonesian economy as stated by Rosid et al [28] that the Covid-19 pandemic has also had a negative impact on the economy at large, and based on the results of analysis of data from 12,361 business actors, this study shows in detail the changes sales, business expenses, use of business capacity, business operational difficulties faced, business operational status, including sales strategies and workforce-related strategies taken by business actors to maintain business activities. Descriptive analysis shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on decreasing sales and changes in operating expenses.

The Covid-19 pandemic is acknowledged and proven to have a very negative impact on most micro business actors, however, in the midst of the economic downturn for MSMEs, it turns out that the Covid-19 pandemic also has a positive impact on MSMEs that sell and open new businesses related to efforts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as: sales of masks, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, hand washing soap, gloves, hand washing containers and alcohol; and also herbal ingredients to increase the body’s immunity, such as turmeric, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, galangal and lime.

Therefore, micro business informants experienced an increase in sales and income as admitted by Mrs. Ana, Vera and Faris “that during the Covid-19 Pandemic we continued to comply with government regulations so that we continued to provide goods and materials that were really needed by the community, such as masks, gloves, hand washing soap, hand sanitizer, alcohol; ingredients for the body’s immunity, such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and vegetables so that our sales and income can increase again so that we can survive until now. After the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to sell community needs because we believe they are still really needed.

The same condition was also experienced by “Clothes washing service” business actors, namely Fathers Soleman and Saleh and mothers Yulia and Dania, when asked: whether when Covid-19 first broke out and the large-scale social restriction policy and restrictions on community activities, father and mother’s business continued to operate? “Micro business operators in laundry services stated that at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, our business operations temporarily stopped, which had an impact on our income and that of our employees, but then we tried to serve consumers’ requests and needs by strictly adhering to the health protocols set out. by the government. Services to customers via social media (WA) and employees who pick up and deliver orders, also use courier services.”

The impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Micro Businesses that provide and fulfil the basic needs of the people of Kupang City can be seen in Figure 3 as follows.

Figure 3. The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Micro Business

Micro businesses that did not experience changes in sales, production and income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic amounted to 20% -21%; which experienced a decrease in production, sales and income of 50-55%, and which experienced an increase in products, sales and income of 20-21%. However, micro business actors continue to operate businesses serving consumer needs in the new normal era because the community economy is starting to recover, in addition to micro business actors adapting to using more proactive marketing strategies through online marketing, delivery and collaboration with “GrapFood” services. other couriers.

Efforts to Maintain Business Continuity and Serve  Community Needs

Micro businesses are the main driver of the Indonesian economy, but business actors recognize and prove that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on their income and business so that they do not have to remain silent or not take any action to deal with these economic problems, especially to meet and serve the needs of the community. The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought about changes in customer or community behaviour in meeting their needs and this condition requires micro business actors to adapt in doing business, especially in meeting consumer needs.

The results of interviews with micro business actors (selected informants) in the City revealed that efforts to survive the pressure of the Covid-19 Pandemic were in order to serve the needs of the community and business continuity, business actors.

Table 3. Service patterns, payment methods and media used

Type of business Service Pattern Payment Media
Ff Ol Cash Tf WA Fb
 Nine Basic Necessities 0,13 0,07 0,13 0,07 0,18 0,04
 Food and Drink 0,13 0,20 0,13 0,2 0,18 0,07
 Vegetables and Herbal Ingredients 0,13 0,00 0,13 0 0,18 0,00
 Goods for personal health needs 0,20 0,00 0,20 0 0,18 0,00
 Laundry Services 0,00 0,13 0,10 0,03 0,18
Total of Informant 0,60 0,40 0,70 0,30 0,89 0,11

Sources: Primary data, 2023

  • Information: Ff= Face to face; Ol=on line; Tf=transfer; WA=WhatsApp; Fb=Facebook.

The information presented can be explained that micro business actors who are engaged in trading (nine basic necessities) and food and beverages sell using a combination of face-to-face and online sales, while businesses selling vegetables and herbal ingredients, and health goods Personal sales are made face to face or directly, while laundry services offer and accept orders online. The media used by micro businesses to offer, receive orders and serve consumers is 94% using social media, namely WhatsApp as much as 89% and Facebook as much as 11%, while as many as 6% of sample micro businesses do not use social media.

Acceptance of sales of goods and services by micro business actors from customers and consumers shows that as many as 70% of micro businesses receive payments in cash and as many as 30% receive payments via bank transfer, especially micro businesses trading nine basic necessities, food and drinks, and services. laundry. Micro business actors accept payments in cash because the majority of buyers or customers are located near their place of business (especially trading businesses) and providers of personal health goods who also sell directly, only a small number of customers live far away so they use payment via Bank transfer.

The online service pattern is carried out using a pick-up and delivery system (especially for laundry businesses). According to the business owner, Mrs. Dania, during the Covid-19 pandemic, our employees were the ones who picked up orders and delivered them back to customers while adhering to health protocols. This is different from that for trade and food and beverage businesses using Grap food and Grap goods services to deliver orders to customers and consumers. This group makes payments via bank transfer as shown in table 3. This kind of business practice is a transition to the new normal era.

The combination of service patterns, transaction methods and the used of communication media in business during the Covid-19 pandemic is an effort by micro business actors to adapt to new normal conditions that have long been known in economic studies. A new normal environment (New Normal) has emerged in the years after the 2008 financial crisis which is based on various changes in the world’s economic, technological, demographic and socio-political sectors. This combination of changes has created a new environment and normalization (Ahlstrom et al., 2020 in [29].  According to the Ministry of Health, this is what is meant by the new normal era or the era of new normality or new habits. Life is carried out with practices that have never existed before. Every people are forced to do it whether they are happy, voluntarily, forced, or refuse. Normal means that daily life is carried out as usual, while new means that there are new things that must be done along with daily activities. An example of a new form of normality is when you have a cold it is better to stay at home , always provide hand sanitizer whenever and wherever, you must wear a mask, maintain a distance of 1 to 2 meters, always wash your hands with soap and running water, get used to showering after traveling, do not make physical contact or shake hands when you meet each other, and minimize the use of cash [30].

After more than three years of us fighting together to face the Covid-19 pandemic, starting today, Wednesday, June 21 2023, the government has decided to revoke the pandemic status and we are starting to enter an endemic period https://www.kompas.id/baca/humaniora/2023/06/21/status-pandemi-covid-19-dicabut-indonesia-entering-endemic-period 21 June 2023 19:08 IWST [31] so that the new normal habits are practiced by micro business actors while serving customers during the Covid-19 Pandemic continue to be implemented in the new normal post-pandemic period. In this way, people’s needs are still served both face-to-face (directly) and online, and also adjusted to customer needs and desires.

DISCUSSION

It is common knowledge and experience that the Covid-19 Pandemic has had a huge impact on human life globally in all aspects of life, especially the economy, so that all micro, small and medium business actors and large businesses are affected so that each of them makes concrete decisions and efforts to maintain business continuity. them, although some were forced to close due to the heavy cost burden. The impact felt by the sample micro business actors was a decrease in production, sales and income by an average of 50-55%, micro businesses experienced an increase in income in the range of 20-22%. These findings are in line with Rahmawati and Siahan that in general almost half (49.50 percent) of business actors in NTT Province experienced a decline in income in the “moderate” category or in the range 21-60 [32], this finding is also in line with BPS [33] stated that as many as 66.09% of companies’ revenues decreased, (including 67.77% of micro and small businesses), as many as 23.48% of companies’ revenues remained the same and for 10.43% their revenues increased.

Even though it is acknowledged and experienced by micro businesses that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the smoothness and continuity of their businesses so that some are closed, at the same time new businesses have emerged related to the provision of personal health necessities, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, hand washing soap, alcohol, and also the need for herbal ingredients as shown in table 3. These results are supported by Kurniasih that the pandemic resulted in people losing their jobs, being laid off, changing jobs, working hours were limited, and wages were reduced, but on the other hand also creates new job opportunities, for example cloth mask sellers, PPE tailors, hand sanitizer sellers, hand washing soap sellers and procurement of medical equipment. Herbal products such as herbal medicine have also experienced an increase in demand during the pandemic because they are believed to increase the body’s immune system. The COVID-19 pandemic can give rise to new job opportunities that rely on creativity, for example there is the Frozen Food business, which is semi-finished food that just needs to be fried. Apart from that, the use of social media and applications also grew rapidly during the pandemic because many sales transactions were carried out online [34].

The empirical evidence above is supported by Slamet Widodo’s statement that quite a few people, companies and organizations are actually growing rapidly because of Covid-19. Online businesses, such as e-commerce in the trade and services sector, are able to increase the amount of rupiah and dollar coffers. Some of them even became billionaires and trillionaires according to Forbes magazine. Apart from that, people are also becoming more productive in creating works, such as writing books, YouTube accounts, and selling online. Both people whose intention is to develop themselves and who are forced to do so because they have been laid off (termination of employment rights) [35]. There are also food and beverage businesses that continue to sell during the pandemic by complying with health protocols. These results are in line with [32] whose results show that there is a small  Warung Yellow Raise business located in Kupang City. During the pandemic, the yellow rice stall did not experience any problems in terms of clients, raw materials, or employees. The shop also operates as usual while complying with government regulations and policies.

These research results confirm that the Covid-19 pandemic has not only had a negative impact on production activities, sales and decreased income for micro businesses, but on the other hand has given rise to new businesses that can be undertaken by micro-businesses in accordance with new changes in life behavior patterns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumption patterns, shopping patterns, sales patterns and payment patterns for business transactions.

This finding is in line with other studies which state that the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the world has significantly influenced people’s economic life patterns, starting from the income received, spending patterns for daily life, employment opportunities, and shopping habits that are dominated by by shopping for food and daily life as well as the new habit of online shopping as carried out by the community and business actors in West Nusa Tenggara [35]”.

For the sake of business continuity and services to meet the needs of the community by micro business actors, the efforts that have been made are to carry out sales in a combination (direct and online), the communication media used are social media which are common and capable of being used, also the transaction payment method uses a combination (cash and bank transfer), in addition to the pick-up and drop-off service system, and using Grap food or Grap Goods services. Adaptation to the new normal is not much different from the results of previous studies or other studies as explained below.

During this pandemic period, trading activities experienced very clear differences, many businesses were forced to close due to losses, sales turnover decreased significantly, so that some sales methods also changed to online. Originally selling donuts on the side of the road, now because you are not allowed to sell face to face, you have chosen to sell your donuts online. During this pandemic, new job opportunities also opened up, namely becoming a mask seller and mask maker [34]. The results of this research are similar to Kurniasih’s research, but what is different is that during the Covid-19 pandemic, sample micro business actors who sold masks, gloves and hand sanitizers actually did so on the side of protocol roads or near shopping centers because the management required that every visitor must wear a mask when enter the shop.  Business actors in nine basic necessities also sold masks during the Covid-19 pandemic

The conclusions from the study results of Rufaidah et al (2023) are: (1) There has been a significant change in the amount of production and income, especially in the types of small and medium enterprises, which is around 50%. The decline in revenue was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused a decrease in the number of buyers due to activity restrictions. (2) The strategy to survive during the pandemic is to keep producing but reduce the amount of production to 50–80. In addition to selling at their usual place of marketing, business actors also travel around the location of people’s homes, and utilize technology such as online application services (such as Go-food and Grab-food) and WhatsApp [36].

Other research found that the COVID-19 pandemic that occurred in Indonesia did have an impact on the Indonesian economy, especially for MSMEs. Social restrictions imposed to prevent the spread also make conventional business actors or MSMEs have to adapt to the current situation. MSME strategies to survive, namely: (a) Learn about digital marketing such as creating promotional media through social media. (b) Strengthening human resources by instilling learning about the era of globalization and technology. (c) Creative innovation to make consumers interested in buying a product during a pandemic. (d) Improving service to consumers in more detail and ensuring product cleanliness and safety [37].

Ernawati and Novandalina’s research entitled The Impact of Covid-19 on MSMEs and Business Models in the New Normal Era suggests business ideas that can be implemented in the new normal era, although many types of businesses have been affected by Covid-19, there are business ideas that have emerged after Covid-19. Business ideas that can be developed in the new normal era include: financial coaching, online health services, herbal food/drinks, training to become an entrepreneur, home renovation services, beauty products, homes, local tourism, and masks and personal protective equipment [38].

Fitriyani, et al [39]’s research entitled Post-Covid-19 Pandemic Business Management Strategy emphasizes that in realizing and developing the sustainability of MSMEs after the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to achieve a mature strategy and provide good results in strengthening business management in the fields of marketing and finance. , human resources and operational areas. Optimism of business actors to bounce back and continue and improve their businesses from business management strategies. One of the strategies implemented is the implementation of the 5Ps strategy, namely position, plan, perspective, project, and prepare as an effort to be able to create a more efficient and effective business existence.

The results of previous research [40] confirmed that MSMEs during the pandemic could survive and grow when they had human resources who mastered digital technology. According to Avriyanti’s research results [1], several business strategies that can be carried out by MSMEs in Tabalong Regency in order to survive in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic are; (a) MSME sell via e-commerce because many consumers are now switching to online purchases; (b), MSME actors carry out product marketing by utilizing digital technology (digital marketing) to reach more consumers; and (c) Improving product quality and service quality by providing online services through delivery orders from social media and the Indo-Jek or Grab applications which are available in Tabalong Regency. This strategy is in line with [41], namely: (1) switching to e-commerce marketing considering that people are currently more at home so many of them choose to shop online. (2) carrying out marketing activities using digital media or digital technology with the aim of reaching a wider market share. (3) improving the quality of consumer products and services in order to create good and loyal relationships between business actors and consumers. (4) implementing customer relationship marketing strategies with the aim of growing consumer trust so that consumers stay with our products. The results of research [8] show “The strategy used by MSME business actors in Tanjung Pinang City in general is to carry out promotional media through social media, discount prices, reduce the number of employees, close several business branches, and provide pick-up or delivery services ”.

Research conducted by Nabila et al with the title Strategy for MSMEs struggling in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic (case study of UMKM Rentjana Coffee Roastery) to maintain the continuity of small businesses, using the internet and social media is a very appropriate strategy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. [43]. Other research results show that businesses that are able to survive and achieve positive growth generally adapt to market dynamics and applicable policies and continuously develop the ability to apply digital innovation, whether in the form of digital business, digital marketing on e-commerce using the internet, as well as product innovation. which is oriented towards adapting to the dynamics of needs, desires and expectations of the target market [12], and [44] strategies, namely improving product quality, improving service quality and utilizing technology.

Harto et al (2021) argue that the right implementation strategy can not only maintain the continuity of small businesses, but also expand the marketing network which will have a positive impact on the growth and development of small businesses in the future, and is in accordance with business actors’ recognition that the use of the internet and social media for marketing the products is very precise and useful and can reach areas without being limited by space and time.[45]. Of all the research results used as references in this research, they have similarities in the ways, efforts and strategies to maintain business continuity and income for micro entrepreneurs, but what makes the difference is that as many as 60% of business actors continue to serve the needs of the community, carry out transactions in cash and face to face. while still adhering to health protocols as recommended by the government.

Apart from serving the needs of the community directly, micro business actors, especially laundry, food and snack services as well as nine basic necessities businesses, serve their customers online. Thus, the habits of the new normal era are still being implemented now after the government revoked the status of the Covid-19 pandemic from becoming endemic. Micro business actors in Kupang City provide services to community needs using a combination system of face-to-face and online services and payments can use cash or transfer.

Through adapting marketing and transactions during the Covid-19 Pandemic by complying with Health protocols so that none of the sample micro business actors closed their businesses, they even experienced an increase in income during the Pandemic by 20-22%, in addition to the emergence of new business actors in the business of personal health needs and herbal ingredients.

CONCLUSIONS

The conditions and dynamics of the Indonesian economy, especially in East Nusa Tenggara, and especially in Kupang City, are very much determined and influenced by the existence of MSMEs, especially Micro Businesses. Currently, the role of Micro businesses is the focus point because they are the largest part of MSMEs. Micro Enterprises are one of the economic pillars of Kupang City, providing much needed income because the business processes carried out are very simple and with low capital, equipment, simple technology and materials, are able to provide and serve the various living needs of city residents in various classes.

During Covid-19, UM’s business activities were greatly affected and various policies related to health protocols limited the movement of people and goods so that production activities, sales and income fell even though some experienced an increase because there were new businesses related to the provision of personal health necessities and maintaining body immunity during the Covid-19 pandemic. This forces Micro Business actors to be able to survive with various kinds of efforts and methods to be more capable so that their businesses continue to run and the needs of the community remain served. The sample micro businesses in Kupang City have the ability to adapt and live with the Covid-19 pandemic so that their businesses continue to run, serving the needs of the people of Kupang City and supporting the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic and also post-pandemic. The business practices carried out during the Covid-19 Pandemic will still be carried out in the New Normal Era.

One main thing that is needed is better and bolder innovation by maximizing Digital Marketing and Digital Finance processes.The suggestion is that micro business actors must be able to adopt survival strategies, meaning always adapting their activities and business to changes in business activities in the normal era or post-pandemic era. Because micro businesses that are able to survive are micro businesses that are able to respond to change by adapting themselves in terms of product quality with good innovation, more attractive and varied product displays, marketing and sales systems and adjustments to the digitalization process by taking advantage of technological advances. that can support business activities.

The shortcomings of this research are that it is limited to Kupang City with a small sample size and limited types of businesses, so it is hoped that further research can be carried out by increasing the number of samples and other analysis tools (quantitative).

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Thank you to the Chancellor, Chair of LP2M and Dean of FISIP, Nusa Cendana University who have approved and funded this research activity, as well as to Micro Business actors (Informants) who were willing to provide the information needed during the research so that this article was realized.

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