KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 2,000 sports-related companies were forced to wind up operations due to severe financial constraints brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker (pic).
The Deputy Youth and Sports Minister said that based on checks by the ministry, it was found that between Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2020, as many as 1,968 sports-related businesses and companies were forced to shut down operations due to lack of working capital and operational funds.
"Most of them consist of promoters, sports events organisers, sports goods retailers, gyms as well as sports facilities," he said in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 28).
He was responding to Noor Amin Ahmad (PH-Kangar), who asked about how many sports-related businesses were forced to wind down operations since March last year and what steps were being taken to address this problem.
Ti said that a study titled "Stakeholders' Perception on the effects of Covid-19 on the Sports Industry" carried out by the National Sports Development Research Institute during the movement control order found that 93.2% of industry players were affected by the pandemic.
Out of the figure, 58.8% of them stated that they needed financial assistance for business and operations continuity, said Ti.
To assist cash-strapped business operators, Ti said the Youth and Sports Ministry had announced several initiatives on July 5, which included a one-off cash aid of RM3,000 under Geran Prihatin Industri Sukan, where about 6,000 registered sports-related companies will receive aid amounting to RM18mil.
"From July 5, the ministry received 4,618 applications. From that figure, 1,432 applications had been approved," he added.
Ti also said loan moratoriums were provided for all sports-related companies, where those who are eligible can apply from their respective banks.
Ti also said a rental incentive of 50% is provided under the ministry's rental and business operations initiative, where 81 such facilities have received the rebate since last year.
Ti also listed other initiatives by the Youth and Sports Ministry, which include licence renewal fee waiver for sports businesses in Kuala Lumpur, the Sports Industry Vaccination Programme, and free sports-related programmes for upskilling purposes.