This paper discusses the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia before and during the crisis. It argues that SME productivity has risen substantially, at rates not far from those of larger firms. Case studies indicate that various mechanisms are at work, such as technology diffusion through foreign buyers and subcontracting. The prevalence of SME clusters suggests that they benefit small and medium enterprise development. SMEs are found to have been weathering the crisis better than larger companies, though many have been hit hard too. Being less reliant on formal markets and formal credit, SMEs are able to respond more quickly and flexibly than their larger counterparts to sudden shocks. The paper argues that, rather than providing direct assistance to smaller firms, government should concentrate on creating a business environment conducive to small and medium business growth, and promoting provision of business development services by the private sector.