KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — A total of 32,469 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been forced to cease operations between March and September this year.
According to a report by The Star, the Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperation Ministry (Medac) said this six-month period coincided with the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) and its subsequent variants to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia.
The ministry shared this figure in a parliamentary written reply to a question posed by Hulu Selangor MP June Leow who wanted to know the number of SMEs that had shutdown since the MCO was enforced and how the ministry planned to address the issue.
In the report, the ministry, quoting statistics by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), said 9,675 SMEs ceased operations during the first phase of the MCO from March 18 to June 9.
This was followed by 22,794 SMEs during the recovery MCO phase from June to September 22, with the highest figure of 17,800 recorded in the month of August.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that its survey found that micro entrepreneurs were the most affected by the economic fallout brought about by Covid-19 as the majority had yet to receive government assistance.
The ministry added that it is currently considering several initiatives to help SMEs weather the storm, including increasing financial aid, conducting more promotional, marketing and product development training programmes and hosting efforts to help entrepreneurs digitalise their businesses.