Medac offers RM746.8m moratorium, assistance for SMEs

The assistance offered is expected to benefit a total of 734,707 borrowers and tenants

by HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

THE Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) and its agencies are offering moratorium and other targeted assistance with an estimated value of RM746.79 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help cushion the impact of the nationwide lockdown.

The assistance offered is expected to benefit a total of 734,707 borrowers and tenants of the agencies, which also include micro enterprises and informal businesses — those in the bottom 40% income category.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said SMEs, particularly micro and informal businesses, are among the groups severely affected by the third nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) and require all the help that they can get to stay afloat.

Based on a survey conducted by Medac in February to gauge the impact of MCO 2.0 on the SME sector, more than half of the respondents said they were uncertain of the future and could only sustain their businesses for three to six months should the lockdown continue.

“Many of these small businesses do not have much savings to fall back to and because of that, they need all the assistance they can get to survive.

“We hope the moratorium and targeted assistance provided by agencies under Medac would help them in these trying times,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement yesterday.

The agencies providing the moratorium and targeted assistance are Bank Rakyat, SME Bank Malaysia Bhd, Tekun Nasional, SME Corp Malaysia, Perbadanan Nasional Bhd, Cooperative Commission of Malaysia and UDA Holdings Bhd.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said Medac is currently embarking on another survey to gauge the impact of MCO 3.0 on the SME sector which includes micro enterprises and informal businesses.

Since more than 80% of the SMEs provide products and services that are in the non-essential services, he said many of the industry players will be affected by the lockdown this time round, which is more stringent than the previous one.

Based on an earlier survey, aside from financial aspects, many entrepreneurs admit that they are also suffering from Covid-19 fatigue following the many uncertainties, particularly on operational standard operating procedures.

“From the survey, we hope to be able to assess the situation better and subsequently help us in coming up with more targeted assistance and programmes that would best suit SMEs,” he added.