He also said the cash must be delivered as soon as possible since most SMEs have almost no income and 50% of their costs were wages and utility bills which needed to be paid during the enhanced movement control order (MCO) period.
He said assistance would ensure SMEs, especially the micro ones, were able to “breathe” and could sustain themselves during the enhanced MCO period, post-MCO and post-Covid-19 pandemic.
“We understand that many employers also want to negotiate with their employees earning more than RM4,000 to agree to pay cuts during this difficult period rather than to be retrenched,” he said.
Azmin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, said the handouts were not a one-off solution for the business community and more was being done to ensure all business communities were assisted.
“SMEs must embrace the new normal and digitise, go high-tech as well as rely less on foreign workers,” he said, adding that the Special Cabinet Committee would continue to look into the problems faced by the business communities post-MCO and post-Covid-19.
Meanwhile, SME Corp said it had proposed to the Special Cabinet Committee that any stimulus package for the SMEs should be carried out without bureaucracy and on fast deployment.
SME Corp chief executive officer Noor Azmi Mat Said said the stimulus package for SMEs announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday was important as 70% of the country’s businesses were SMEs.
“The cash handouts for them would help the SMEs with their cash flow.
“As they already have business capital, the cash, rental exemptions and loans would assist them to buy materials and stocks to resume immediately post-MCO,” he said.
Noor Azmi added that the additional RM10bil would ensure the grassroots economy does not collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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