Interest-free loan project to kick off for petty traders

JOHOR BARU: A local trade group is starting a pilot project to offer small interest-free loans to its members to help them sustain their businesses.

Johor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JICCI) secretary-general Datuk K. Krishnan (pic) said it had allocated RM50,000 for this initiative.

“This loan is given without interest payment or collateral. We just hope our members can pay us back in instalments within a maximum of 24 months,” he added.

He said for a start, JICCI hopes to help at least 50 members with RM1,000 each.

Krishnan said many businesses, especially petty traders in central Johor Baru, had been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to find ways to get people to restart their business,” he added.

Krishnan said RM1,000 meant a lot to petty traders as with that capital, they would be able to get raw materials or stock.

“We already have a list of 100 members hoping for aid,” he added.

Asked about the source for the funding, he said as a business association, it could only offer a limited amount but was thankful that JICCI president Tan Sri Kenneth Eswaran was supportive of the idea and willing to match the RM25,000 initial allocation.

“If this project is successful, we may allocate more funds to help more businesses,” he said, adding that presently, this initiative was only available to existing members.

He said the group would inform its eligible members soon about the process of obtaining the funding so that they would have the cash to restart their business the moment sectors are opened under the National Recovery Plan.

Krishnan also lauded the government’s move to allocate more vaccines to Johor and urged Malaysia and Singapore to consider allowing fully vaccinated Malaysians to return without quarantine.

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