PUTRAJAYA, Sept 16 — Micro and informal enterprises were severely affected by the COVID-19-induced Movement Control Order (MCO) because their products and services are in the non-essential sector and they lack savings and strong cash flow, said Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
He said these were the findings of an online survey by SME Corporation Malaysia conducted by the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) from Feb 15 to March 5 involving 3,855 entrepreneurs nationwide on the impact of MCO on the industry.
“This is alarming as micro and informal entrepreneurs are the most common type of businesses in Malaysia. Hence, it is almost unimaginable how much these business owners have had to endure during difficult times like this,” he said when opening the MyInspirasi for Keluarga Malaysia (MIKM) and launching the inaugural Keluarga Malaysia Grand Networking (KMGN), held virtually here today.
Nanta said the impact of the pandemic cannot be denied despite various forms of financial assistance from the government such as the People’s Protection and Economic Recovery (PEMULIH) package to help Malaysians and businesses amidst the pandemic.
“Stores, factories and many other businesses had been forced to close by virtue of policy mandate, downward demand shifts, health concerns or other factors. Many of these closures may be permanent because of the inability of business owners to pay ongoing expenses and survive the ongoing lockdown. This impact is even severe for small businesses,” he said.
Therefore, Nanta said MIKM, which brought together 150 entrepreneurs to share their aspirations and inspirations to bring the nation to greater heights through KMGN programmes, would help navigate entrepreneurs through these challenges as well as create business, opportunities and collaborations.
MIKM was organised by the International Entrepreneur Network (IEN) and Yayasan Wholistic Family Association (WFA) together with the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Messrs. Esther Ong Tengku Saiful and Sree (ETS) and Nerv Global in conjunction with Malaysia Day today.
Nanta said the initiatives taken by IEN and WFA would create a significant springboard for business collaborations and accelerate the recovery process for many businesses.
He said IEN aspires to empower entrepreneurs towards excellence through an emphasis on continuous holistic development to accelerate businesses that can contribute to and influence society for positive change.
He said it is working closely with WFA under their second initiative, which is aid and support for entrepreneurs to bring solutions as well as to upscale their businesses and build authority in the industry.