27 June was chosen by the United Nations General Assembly to recognise the importance of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to local and global economies in addition to their contribution to sustainable economic development.
MSMEs were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a forecasted 20 percent annual decline in 2020.
The combination of non-essential services being required to close temporarily and people staying home has caused many small local businesses to suffer.
Although some will bounce back, others will be forced to shut down for good.
MSMEs play a key role in supporting developing countries and make up the economic backbone of many countries worldwide.
They also create decent job opportunities and improve livelihoods for many who are unable to find employment.
We should help bolster local MSMEs so they can continue earning a living from their business for themselves and their families.
Supporting MSMEs means that you’re building and realising an individual’s solution to satisfy unmet needs.
Many new business owners start alone and have to fill every role in the business, from producing goods to serving customer, which takes a lot of time and effort.
If you can’t afford to spend money right now, even just sharing posts and pages on social media can help independent businesses reach a wider audience.
Aside from supporting individuals and families, supporting local MSMEs can also benefit the area you live in, regardless of whether you live in a small town or big city.
Money earned by local MSMEs helps keep their doors open and the surrounding areas active by offering decent employment.
Small businesses employed 7.3 million people in 2019, making up 48.4 percent of employment in Malaysia.
A healthy presence of small businesses in communities can create and preserve the character of their town or neighbourhood while keeping the community afloat.
While large corporations and chain stores do provide jobs, the money earnt by these companies is rarely reinvested into the local area.
As the global economy gets back on its feet, large companies can and will continue operations much faster than local shops because they have the resources to do so.
We can make a choice with our hard-earned money to help local economies stay afloat and give small businesses a chance to rebound when social distancing measures are eventually lifted.
It’s important to remember that MSMEs typically employ vulnerable groups such as women, youth and those from lower income households, which is why it’s vital that we help however we can to keep these enterprises alive.
Therefore, bolstering MSMEs can help alleviate poverty and drive development across the world.
As we step out of the lockdown bubble, expand your horizons beyond familiar brands and you could find something new to love and support.
Photo by Gene Gallin from Unsplash.