Slew of benefits for SMEs under Penjana

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will gain various benefits from the Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) which was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, during a special address to the nation, said based on feedback given by the business sector, the government is determined to help each business through several measures.

Among the issues shared by business owners were on the low demand by customers and their lack to fully use the internet to generate online sales.

“To encourage micro-enterprises and SMEs to move to the digital or online services, the government, together with the private sector, will finance the venture through a matching grant of RM140 million”.

“This allocation will be used for training sessions, vendor subsidies and sales assistance and it will be spearheaded by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) along with selected e-commerce platforms”.

“The government, in collaboration with private companies, will be running a ‘Shop Malaysia Online’ campaign to encourage people to shop online, where promotional codes and various discount vouchers will be provided through the e-commerce platform,” he said, also mentioning that to kick start this initiative, the government would set aside RM70 million.

The prime minister mentioned that the government would also continue to give grants and loans to SMEs and mid-tier companies to allow more companies to subscribe to or utilise digitalisation services.

This, would amount to RM70 million.

“Firstly, RM100 million of SME Digital Matching Grants will be provided in collaboration with telecommunication companies; secondly RM500 million under the SME Technology Transformation Fund will be provided as a simple loan; and third, RM100 million is allocated under the Smart Automation Grants, where each eligible company will receive a grant of up to RM1 million.”

In an effort to help the sustainability of SMEs involved in key sectors, Muhyiddin stated that the banking industry would give an additional RM2 billion through the Penjana SME Financing Scheme.

Application for this financing scheme will commence from mid-June 2020 with a cap of up to RM500,000 per SME.

For micro-enterprises, the government would establish Penjana Micro Funding in collaboration with Bank Simpanan Nasional and Tekun Nasional for the financing of RM400 million of which RM50 million would be allocated to women entrepreneurs.

To reinforce Bumiputera involvement and to promote sustainability in business and entrepreneurship, funding of RM200 million would be channeled through the National Entrepreneur Corporation Berhad (PUNB).

“Also, RM300 million will be channelled to MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) where Bumiputera entrepreneurs and affected skills institutes can obtain funding for working capital.

“To assist SMEs’ cash flow, beginning in July, SME Bank through the SME-GO Scheme will provide financing to 16,000 qualified G2 and G3 grades contractors who have received projects under Prihatin.

“For the convenience of the contractor, no collateral or deposit is required.”