KUALA LUMPUR – A total of 37,415 entrepreneurs were forced to shut down their businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) said.
Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said of the total, 26,007 were micro-entrepreneurs and 2,738 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Hence, he said the ministry welcomed the government’s decision to lift the interstate travel ban which started on October 11.
“This announcement was the best move and an opportunity for the rakyat, especially micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) entrepreneurs to revive their businesses, and most importantly for their continued survival,” he said in a statement on October 12.
Noh said all business sectors, especially the informal sector, would get help after going through the First to Close, Last to Open (FCLO) phase.
He said MEDAC was focusing on the implementation of various programmes through the ministry and 11 agencies under its ambit to ensure that all initiatives and packages introduced by the government would reach the affected MSME entrepreneurs.
“This coordination covers target groups, funding values, aid rates, grants, scope of programmes, and implementation mechanisms.
“The focus groups are the entrepreneurs and cooperatives affected by COVID-19; those who were laid off and interested to become entrepreneurs; and those who are unemployed and interested to become entrepreneurs; asnaf (deserving) group; and entrepreneurs who use their own capital,” he said.
In addition, he said MEDAC was optimistic that the approvals would provide a balance in helping to revitalise economic activity fiscally and at the same time be able to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
MEDAC remains committed to the agenda of creating a Nation of Entrepreneurs as aspired by the Malaysian Family concept in line with efforts to improve economic balance in less developed regions by enhancing the emphasis on entrepreneurship as one of the potential income generation opportunities,” he added.