73 pct SMEs forecast to register losses in 2020

Awang Tengah delivering his winding up speech during the DUN sitting today (Nov 13, 2020).

KUCHING, Nov 13: Almost 73 per cent of small and medium entreprises (SMEs) are expected to register losses in 2020, a repercussion from the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

This he said, was also partly due to the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) which have impacted the performance of SMEs this year.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development disclosed that this was based on the survey conducted by the ministry while similar findings were also recorded by SME Corp.

“In our efforts to cushion the disruptive impacts of Covid-19 to the rakyat including SMEs, the State government has provided numerous assistance valued at RM1.74 billion under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS), in addition to the assistance provided by the Federal government through Prihatin and Penjana.

“My ministry has also rendered assistance to SMEs in various fields namely Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SKMS) RM50 million; Special Relief Fund (SRF) subsidy RM80.7 million; Small and Medium Industry Loan Scheme (SPIKS) RM5.4 million; Graduate Programme Towards Entrepreneurship (Gerak) and Technical and Vocational Entrepreneurs (USTEV) RM2.4 million.

“Apart from that, we also assist in promotion and marketing, such as the establishment of Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (Statos) in Singapore and Sarawak Product Pavillion in Kuala Lumpur. We have also proposed to set up similar offices in Pontianak, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam,” Awang Tengah said when delivering his winding up speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

He added that Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides interest subsidies for a period of 42 months to SMEs under the SRF, SKMK and SPIKS during this pandemic crisis.

Overall, for the period between 2016 and 2020, the ministry has assisted over 32,000 entrepreneurs in capacity building, financial assistance and promotion. — DayakDaily