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Unfortunate fate befell a number of Small and Medium Industry (IKM) entrepreneurs in Bandung Regency. Some have survived, some have failed.

As experienced by Rommy Aprilana. This garment entrepreneur from Soreang, Bandung Regency who focuses on making robes has experienced a decline in income since the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only income, he was forced to lay off a number of his employees.

"I started in 2009. Before COVID, there were 70 workers. Now there are only two left," said Roni.

Roni said, since the pandemic, the business he has built for a long time has struggled to survive.

This was exacerbated by Roni's difficulty in obtaining raw materials, he often used imported raw materials. Roni also complained that the raw material was scarce and the price was high.

"Now it is difficult to find raw materials, they are expensive," he said.

Roni has not yet marketed the blouse he made online. Due to his shortcomings, he persisted by selling conventionally.

He often sells his goods to Tanah Abang Market. However, right now, even the items he made couldn't compete. The price he pegged with the robe from abroad was more expensive.

"It is difficult for my goods to enter Tanah Abang as well. Because in Tanah Abang now there are so many finished clothes from abroad, it is cheaper too. I sold Rp. 55 thousand, they (foreign goods) could be sold for Rp. 45 thousand," complained Roni.

Secretary General of the Indonesian Small and Medium Industry Association (APIKMI) Widia Erlangga noted that there are as many as 400 garment entrepreneurs who are members in West Java, about 65 percent of which are bankrupt.

"For our members in West Java there are 400, the remaining 140 members are still standing," said Widia.

Widia explained, there are a number of factors that cause many garment entrepreneurs to go bankrupt. One of them, garment entrepreneurs depend on imported raw materials. This is because the textile industry chooses to export rather than meet domestic needs.

Then, on the policy side, there is a safe guard policy in the imported fabric raw material sector. Where, imported raw materials are subject to additional costs and make these raw materials expensive.

"The evaluation is that domestically produced raw materials can be safe guarded, but raw materials that are not produced domestically should not be safe guarded. Because no one is manufactured domestically," said Widia.

In addition, continued Widia, many entrepreneurs find it difficult to compete on price in the online market. Because, many garment types that are marketed online come from abroad.

"So another solution, we are waiting for a safe guard in the import of finished materials. Because apparently, what is sold online is finished material from abroad without any import duties and so on, so the price is cheaper than local ones," suggested Widia.