Reopening of various businesses is the 1st step for biz recovery

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE reopening of various businesses may help smaller entrepreneurs to recover their cashflow and growth.

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs senior fellow Dr Carmelo Ferlito said the move would be helpful for smaller businesses owned by locals who have been heavily impacted by the movement restrictions.

“It is a very good news in particular for small businesses because they were struggling and more so when their recovery was stunted by the reimplementation of the Movement Control Order.

“The news is well-received on my side, and it is good news for both businesses that have managed to survive and for those who are just looking to bring food to their table,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

He said, however, the country cannot survive on a “hiccup lockdown” strategy.

“We cannot keep going with opening and then closing businesses, because the economy is a continuous flow of transactions and interactions and cannot simply be switched on and off at command.

“It is important that this news is part of a long-term strategy, not simply a response to short-term pressure, which is why it is important that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are complied with,” he said.

He added that the country is starting to realise that the costs of lockdown are greater than the benefits of allowing businesses to remain open.

“Both the economic and medical side can see that the lockdown has cost us much higher than the benefits itself, and therefore, this is seen as the start of the recovery for most businesses,” he said.

Restaurant owner Ashraf Ariff said the move will also help restaurant operators survive.

“It is a good move and the onus will be on us to ensure that the SOPs are followed,” he said.

As for the filmmaker and production sector, TV and feature film writer and director Al Jafree Md Yusop said the SOPs for the creatives are considered as vague.

“There is no clear definition of what the word ‘studio’ is referred to by the government and what it means, because there are such things as exterior studios.

“For example, the British Film Commission (BFC) produced a 55-page SOPs since the last time and it has been constantly updated since, and there are controlled environments like what is stated in the BFC SOPs guidelines,” he said.

The guideline was first published in June 2020 and was published to help employers, employees and the self-employed in film and high-end TV drama production in the UK to work safely and minimise risks involved with the pandemic.

The guidance covers foundation questions, such as who should travel for work, mental health, meeting etiquette, cast and stunts, and addressing all layers of workers involved in a production including props and directors.

He added that even since before the updated SOPs yesterday, TV stations have been shooting multiple camera productions even before the announcement.

“So, what’s the difference?

“The National Film Development Corp should have come up with a real SOPs,” he said.


Read our previous report here

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