More than 32,000 small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have closed shop since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented back in March to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said 9,675 SMEs shut ceased operations during the first phase of the MCO from March 18 to June 9 only. Furthermore, 22,794 SMEs had shut down operations during the recovery MCO phase (RMCO) from June to September.
August recorded the highest figure of small-and medium-sized enterprises ceased operations with a total of 17,800 SMEs closing down
The minister gave these statistics in a parliamentary written response to a question regarding the number of small-and medium-sized enterprises that had folded since the start of MCO, quoting figures given by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
Wan Junaidi added that surveys conducted by the ministry had found that the majority of the folded businesses were micro SMEs – making up 79.5% of the closures during the MCO and 70.8% during the RMCO. Moreover, the majority of micro SMEs surveyed had yet to receive any government assistance.
Apart from proposing increased financial aid for these affected entrepreneurs and more access to this aid and financial incentive, the ministry suggested an expansion of promotional, marketing and product development training programmes. It also proposed hosting programmes to help entrepreneurs digitalise their businesses.