By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Jan 17: Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) is calling on entrepreneurs and micro businesses to take full advantage of the various assistance, incentives and programmes offered by the ministry.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, in a press statement, said informal businesses are also encouraged to register with the ministry so that assistance can be channelled to them in the current tough business environment.
“We are now living in the post Covid-19 era. Lots of things around us are changing and we have to accept and adapt to the new norm.
“In business, it is all about survival of the fittest.
“Entrepreneurs need to continuously equip themselves with new knowledge and skills not only for their businesses survival but also to take advantage of the many new opportunities.
“As such, we would like to call on entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the various assistance, incentives and programmes made available by Medac and its agencies to remain competitive in today’s challenging business environment.
“For the informal businesses, we would like to encourage you to register yourselves with the relevant authorities so that we know who you are and we can channel all the available allocations as well as assistance to you,” he said.
Wan Junaidi who is also Santubong MP highlighted that micro and informal entrepreneurs would be most affected by cash flow constraints as they do not have much savings to cover the cost of operating the business such as employee salaries, rental and utility bills.
“These micro and informal business owners mostly do not have the financial muscle to absorb the financial losses due to the latest Movement Control Order (MCO).
“We are talking about people like your neighbourhood Mak Cik Goreng Pisang who does not have a steady monthly income. Her livelihood depends on her daily sales,” he added.
As for the cooperative sector, he noted business activities that are expected to be significantly affected by the second round of the MCO and nationwide state of emergency declaration are tourism, agriculture, wholesale as well as retail.
Wan Junaidi believed that the longer the duration of the MCO, it would mean more small businesses will suffer.
He said Medac had earlier estimated that there were close to 2 million of micro enterprises nationwide, where almost half of them comprise informal businesses.
Wan Junaidi noted that the number of informal businesses was not a small number.
Thus, he stressed that it is important to take into consideration how the MCO 2.0 would affect this group of people.
Based on surveys conducted by Medac, he gathered that among the main challenges that entrepreneurs will face during MCO 2.0 period are cash flow constraints and lower sales volume.
He noted the challenges were largely due to the decline in customer demand as well as shorter business operations duration.
Wan Junaidi believed the supply chain of businesses may also be affected due to logistical issues and delays in delivery of raw materials as a result of the restricted movements.
Despite all those risks, Wan Junaidi is optimistic of seeing the positive effects from the current situation, namely in terms of increasing demand and supply of products and services online.
Based on the report from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), he gathered that there were more online business registration from January to September 2020.
In spite of the 41,249 businesses which closed down from January to September 2020, Wan Junaidi said over the same period, there were 299,431 new businesses registered, out of which 86,295 were online businesses. — DayakDaily