JIMBARAN, NETRALNEWS.COM - Bali has seen a significant decline in tourist visits after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the COVID-19 coronavirus as a global pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak has paralyzed tourism businesses in Bali, including money changers.
Alvian Sampow (46), the owner of a money changer business in the Jimbaran area, admitted that his money changer business income had decreased significantly since the Covid-19 coronavirus spread to Bali. The COVID-19 outbreak has hit the tourism sector in many tourist destinations in Bali, including Jimbaran. These days, tourist visits and economic activities in Bali are quiet.
"The impact is significant, especially for tourism. COVID-19 has affected businesses. There has not been any income as there are no visitors (tourists) to exchange their money," he said on Tuesday (04/22/2020). Alvian has been in the business of foreign exchange for 20 years.
Alvian who was faced with a difficult situation, got a bright solution when he accidentally watched a news story on television. The television show informed that the government is providing credit relief measures provided by banks and the non-banking financial industry. The relief is in the form of delays in installments of up to one year, and also a decrease in interest.
At that time, Alvian, who has been a customer of Bank BRI for 11 years, contacted the nearest branch office to apply for credit relief. "When watching TV, I saw the government news there was relaxation of credit, from there I immediately applied for relief at BRI."
Alvian said the credit relief apllication process was relatively easy and fast, so he did not have to wait long to get the credit relaxation. He added that the relief he received was very beneficial for the development of his business.
"The relief provided is very helpful, because income has decreased. So if we can stay calm, there is no need to think intensely about having to repay loans like this, work can focus, although the income is not as usual," he explained.
Alvian said that before the COVID-19 outbreak, the foreign exchange business he was running was always crowded by both domestic and foreign tourists, and generating relatively large income.
Under normal circumstances, Alvian can get a turnover of around IDR 500,000 per day or around IDR 12 million-IDR 15 million per month. To increase the business, Alvian cooperates with large-scale money changers to meet foreign exchange needs.
"The money changer business is not the only business, sometimes I also drive the guests (tourists) around, but now the guests (tourists) have gone. Locals still come to exchange money, but they are now also affected by the physical distancing measures," he said.
Alvian also tried to get other income by trying online trading, as the income from the money changer business can no longer be relied upon to meet his family needs, let alone meet the obligations at the bank.
"Now customers are also greatly helped by the BRI program, and hopefully COVID-19 spreading can be controlled, so we can work again. For now, the program is very helpful," added Alvian.
He hopes that the COVID-19 outbreak will soon subside so that tourism and economic activity will recover, and that the money changer business and its side businesses can move again.
In the credit relaxation policy, BRI, as a bank that is concerned with the empowerment of the MSME sector, provides relief for businesses that have experienced a decline in business due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This is a tangible manifestation that BRI continues to support the business continuity of the MSME sector and improve services to its customers amid challenging conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.