RM147b allocated to assist SMEs since 2020

PM believes local SMEs would recover gradually this year, in line with the overall economic growth forecast

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by BERNAMA

THE government has allocated RM147.1 billion especially to assist the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through various economic stimulus packages announced since last year, Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) said.

With the implementation of these packages, Muhyiddin believes local SMEs would recover gradually this year, in line with the overall economic growth forecast.

“The implementation of the economic stimulus packages and Budget 2021 will be able to assist SMEs in easing cashflow constraints and enhance business resiliency,” the PM said in his pre-recorded speech for the virtual launch of the MyAssist Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MyAssist MSME) portal and National SME Week 2021.

The economic stimulus packages referred to are the Economic Stimulus Package 2020, National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package, Additional Prihatin SME Economic Stimulus Package, Prihatin Supplementary Initiative Package, Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package, Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (Pemerkasa), Pemerkasa+ and the RM150 billion People’s Protection and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) announced on June 28.

Muhyiddin said Pemulih focus includes supporting businesses with the main goals of reducing costs borne by the employers, facilitating digitalisation efforts, offering financial assistance and tax incentives, providing financing facilities and continuing employment incentives, which would benefit SMEs.

“SMEs are the backbone of the national economy. SMEs in Malaysia make up around 98.5% of the total business entity in the country across every sector.

“In 2019, the contribution of SMEs to GDP was 38.9% and contributing 17.9% to the country’s exports. Overall, SMEs in the country have managed to create job opportunities for over 7.3 million people,” he added.

In order to boost the country’s economic status, he said the digital economy will play an important role with the target of donations of 22.6% to the country’s GDP in 2025.

Hence, he urged entrepreneurs from MSMEs segment and future entrepreneurs to use the MyAssist MSME portal, a one-stop centre and new norm solution for business facilitation needs of the MSMEs.

“The portal, which is a government’s initiative under Penjana provides a platform for SMEs to seek business advisory and information, guidance and digital marketing opportunities.

“It will assist SMEs to solve their business-related problems and issues in the new norm. This is proof of the government’s commitment to ensure that local SMEs will continue to be empowered to face current challenges,” he said.

Muhyiddin also officiated SME Week 2021 national level themed “Mula Berdikit, Azam Melangit” to appreciate the contribution of SMEs as the backbone of the national economy.

It also aims to raise awareness and promote local SME products and services, fostering an entrepreneurial culture and also as a platform for disseminating the latest information to SMEs.

National SME Week 2021 which started on June 26 until July 4, 2021, via online completely.

The expo involved nearly 500 exhibitors from across the country with a sales value target of almost RM7 million.