By Harizah Hanim Mohamed
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28: Micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are neither registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) nor business councils are feeling the heat of poor consumer sentiments and being left out of the government’s assistance for businesses, a coalition of trade, business, and professional associations said.
Datuk David Gurupatham, group coordinator of Industries Unite, a coalition of more than 40 trade, business, and professional associations throughout Malaysia, said there were a handful of micro SMEs that fall into this category, hence, the information on government assistance as well as the necessary guidelines and procedures did not reach them.
He said the situation could be mended by engaging business associations and representatives.
“Engage with business associations and representatives, especially on Prihatin (Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package) and Penjana (National Economic Recovery Plan) so that no one is left out and small businesses get the accurate information, ease the red tape and bureaucracy so that micro SMEs have an easier access to the assistance,” he told Bernama.
He also said that the current special electricity rebate under the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai) did not reach micro SMEs and were focused on commercial sectors.
The six sectors in the commercial category are hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices, and travel and tour agencies, he added.
Meanwhile, the Wedding Professional Association of Malaysia president Patrick Low claimed that the wedding and event industry had often been overlooked although each event could involve between 25 and 50 sub-sectors.
“More than 100,000 businesses were affected and the workers were jobless and there are self-employed or husband and wife team, which neither has Social Security Organisation nor Employees Provident Fund contribution…these are micro-businesses that know how to do their job but not everyone knows how to run their business and grow their business.
“Adding to that, banks have rejected the majority of loan applications as they do not have proper supporting documents,” he said.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), the wedding industry was estimated to be worth RM10 billion in 2020, while the retail sales value for plants, flowers, seeds, and fertilisers were worth RM1.66 billion.
In 2018, the wholesale sales value for flowers and plants amounted to RM809 million while cut flowers and plants totalled RM122 million.- Bernama