SME Corp to clear grant application backlog soon

  • Business
  • Saturday, 14 Nov 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corp Malaysia is optimistic of clearing the backlog of applications for grants from small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) by the end of this month.

Chief executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim said the agency was working relentlessly to clear the 5,000 backlogged grant applications.

“We have so far processed about 50% of the applications. We are working hard to clear the applications by end-November,” she told a briefing prior to a gala dinner to honour the country’s top 50 SMEs at the Enterprise 50 Award Programme 2009 (E50).

The E50 is jointly organised by SME Corp and Deloitte Malaysia; and supported by Telekom Malaysia Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd.

The awards were presented by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who represented Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

To a question, Hafsah said SME Corp experienced a surge in the number applications this year.

“From January until August, we received 998 applications per month on average. It tripled from some 263 applications per month received a year before and we have only the same number of staff processing the applications,” she said, adding that the agency received about 1,000 applications monthly over the past two months.

“We hope to address this so we can start fresh with the new allocation under Budget 2010 next year,” Hafsah said.

Under Budget 2010, the Government will allocate RM350mil to SME Corp, of which RM200mil is for SME soft loans, RM100mil for capacity enhancement and the balance for branding and promotion.

On the E50 award, SME Corp chairman Datuk Al Amin Abdul Majid said the award sought to identify promising home-grown SMEs and reward them with increased visibility and assistance in financial access and business development.

E50 winners automatically gain entry into the Prime Minister’s Industry Excellence Award and the National Productivity Award.

Hafsah said the E50 recipients had shown improvement in revenue and net profit. “It is very heartening that these 50 top winners have shown improvement in turnover and profits despite the challenging economic times. They showed 20% to 26% improvement in turnover last year,” Hafsah said.

She added that collectively, the top 10 E50 winners chalked up RM265mil and RM133.6mil in gross turnover and net profit respectively last year.

Multi-B Sdn Bhd walked away with the top honours at this year’s E50 award. The second and third places went to Kewpump (M) Sdn Bhd and Device Semiconductor Sdn Bhd respectively.

Others in the top 10 ranks were Skybus Ventures Sdn Bhd, Symbiotica Speciality Ingredients Sdn Bhd, Chek Hup Sdn Bhd, Focal Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Kongoya Enterprise Sdn Bhd, MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd, Multi-B Sdn Bhd and Pestech Sdn Bhd.

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