SMU Professor of Communication Management Ong Siow Heng shared that following the economic downturn in 2020, revival in 2021 can only be very gradual. SMEs in different sectors of the economy face different challenges and have different options for response. Overall, SMEs are hopeful rather than confident. SMEs are generally hoping to manage cash flow and stretch their current funds for immediate business sustainability. Inevitably, their focus is on meeting critical business needs. Turnover and profits are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels so any increase in hiring or other planning for the future will be slight. He suggested that for pragmatic managers of SMEs to function effectively during this time, while also preparing for future recovery, it would be helpful to think of the challenges and opportunities SMEs now face in terms of people issues and money issues.