KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia has allocated RM3.3bil to help small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to sustain their business operations, safeguard jobs and encourage domestic investments.
The central bank said on Thursday the allocation under its fund for SMEs was to assist businesses and households impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
It said interested SMEs can access Special Relief Facility (SRF), with an allocation of RM2 billion, to help alleviate the short-term cash flow problems faced by SMEs affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM1 million for a tenure of up to 5.5 years, including a six-month grace period. The financing rate is capped at 3.75% p.a. The SRF is available from March 6 to Dec 31.
Also available is the Agrofood Facility (AF), with an allocation of RM1bil, to increase food production for Malaysia and for export purposes.
Eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM5mil for a tenure of up to eight years. The financing rate is capped at 3.75% p.a. The AF is available from 6 March 2020 onwards.
The SMEs could also apply under the SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF), which has an allocation of RM300mil. This is to encourage SMEs to automate processes and digitalise operations to improve productivity and efficiency.
“Financial institutions have also committed to support affected businesses and households. Broader access to financing continues to be readily available. Financial institutions expect to approve about RM200bil of business and home financing to eligible SMEs and households in 2020, ” Bank Negara said.