MEDAC submits enhanced SOPs for FCLO biz reopening

The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and  Cooperatives (MEDAC) had submitted a proposed Enhanced SOPs to the government  to help speed up the opening of the MSME sector, particularly the FCLO (First to Close  Last to Open) businesses.

The proposed Enhanced SOPs was presented by MEDAC Minister Datuk Sri Dr Wan  Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri in a  meeting today.  

The Enhanced SOPs proposed by MEDAC focuses on six economic activities under  the FCLO categories, which are in food and beverages (F&B dine-in), shopping malls,  watches shop, pedicure and manicure (grooming services), beauty parlour/salon and  barber/hair salon.

Almost half of the business activities identified , are owned by women entrepreneurs,  among the groups most affected by the nationwide lockdown.  

The SOPs entail a comprehensive set of guidelines from handling of customers,  managing staff, operating hours as well premises maintenance to ensure all comply  to the post Covid-19 safety requirements.

Among the mandatory procedures proposed include: business owners and workers must complete the two doses of Covid-19  vaccination jabs, business owners and workers must go for weekly Covid-19 swab test and immediate closure of premise, for sanitisation purposes, should there be any detected Covid-19 cases.

Dr Wan Junaidi said while MEDAC fully supports the opening of more economic  activities, it is indeed crucial to have a clear SOPs in place so that businesses are able  to operate as usual – in a safe and controlled manner.

Based on discussions with members of the industry, he said many have expressed  willingness to operate under stricter SOPs and will give full cooperation with the  authorities and enforcement team.

“In fact, they (industry members) are very proactive and cooperative in this. The  enhanced SOPs prepared by MEDAC is actually collaborative effort between the  ministry and members of the industry where they too have given input,” he said in a statement today.

Previously Dr Wan Junaidi had earlier highlighted that Malaysia’s MSME sector, which accounts  for close to 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, is on the brink of collapsing should the  current nationwide lockdown continues indefinitely.  

Based on survey conducted by MEDAC, it is estimated that some 580,000 businesses,  representing 49 per cent of the MSME sector, are at risk of failing by October, if they  are not allowed to open up their operations by then.

The closure of these businesses, which are mostly in the FCLO category, would also  mean that more than 7 million Malaysians are expected to be unemployed.

Assuming  that each worker has an average of two dependents, it will mean that another 14 million  people will be affected by this situation.

MEDAC, had conducted a survey to gauge the impact of the  MCO 3.0 on the entrepreneurship landscape in Malaysia. A total of 6,664 respondent  from across the nation took part in this survey that took place on June 15-June 28.

Dr Wan Junaidi also said mental issues are among the areas of concern revealed in  the survey, where nearly 60 per cent of entrepreneurs suffer from at least one form of  mental health condition during the lockdown.

The top three factors affecting mental health condition of the entrepreneurs include  decline and loss of income, debt and financing issues as well as risk of business  closure. –TMR