According to The Star, a total of 32,469 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been forced to shut down between March and September 2020 due to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) and its subsequent variants to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia.
Recently, the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives 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.
The reply which quoted statistics by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), said 9,675 SMEs ceased operations during the first phase of the MCO from 18 March to 9 June. This was then followed by 22,794 SMEs during the recovery MCO phase from June to 22 September, 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.
While we can’t control what will happen in the future, as Malaysians, let’s lift up these businesses by supporting them within our capability – especially if you’re in the T20 and M40 group. Shop small and together we can rein in the spirit of #RakyatJagaRakyat!
From food to cosmetics to swag and beyond, here’s a list of small local businesses you should support!