Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says the majority of the businesses forced to close by the Covid-19 pandemic are micro SMEs.

PETALING JAYA: More than 30,000 SMEs have closed shop since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented in March.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today said 9,675 SMEs ceased operations during the first phase of the MCO from March 18 to June 9, and 22,794 during the recovery MCO phase from June to September.

“The highest figure was recorded in August with 17,800 SMEs ending operations,” he said, citing statistics from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), in a parliamentary written reply to June Leow Hsiad Hui (PH-Hulu Selangor).

Leow wanted to know the number of SMEs that had closed shop since the MCO was enforced to stem the spread of Covid-19 and what the ministry was doing to counter this.

Wan Junaidi said surveys conducted by the ministry found that the majority of the businesses that closed were micro SMEs, making up 79.5% of the closures during the MCO and 70.8% during the RMCO.

He also said the majority of the micro SMEs it surveyed had yet to receive government assistance.

Apart from proposing increased financial aid for these entrepreneurs and more access to this aid, the ministry suggested an expansion of promotional, marketing and product development training programmes, he said..

It also proposed hosting programmes to help entrepreneurs digitalise their businesses.

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