Japan has launched a program called the Subsidy Program for Sustaining Businesses to help small and medium enterprises in the country. The Program is targeted at SMEs that had suffered a decline in monthly sales of 50 per cent or more, compared to last year. Companies with capital less than JPY 1 billion or with regular employees of 2,000 or less are also eligible. About two million SMEs are expected to benefit from the Program. To date, over 700 thousand enterprises have applied for the Program since it was started on 1 May 2020.
According to a survey conducted by the Commerce and Industry Division of the Kurashiki City Council, 12 per cent of the 447 SMEs surveyed reported that their sales revenue have dropped by over 90 per cent compared to last year. 50 per cent of them experienced a drop of 50 per cent.
Asked about management challenges, “Worsened Cash Flow” topped the list with 20 per cent saying this was the biggest challenge. This was followed by “Decrease in Customers” (10 per cent) and “Losing Clients” (9 per cent). The food service sector is one of the worse hit industries.