Offer flood relief to SMEs, Johor government urged


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Mar 2023

JOHOR BARU: The state government should offer flood relief incentives to Johor-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says the advisor of an association for these businesses.

“They need hard cash to repair machinery or business premises damaged by the floods," said Johor South SME Association advisor Teh Kee Sin.

Teh said the Johor government could follow the move made by the Selangor government, which offered interest-free to SMEs affected by flood in the state.

He also said the move by Maybank, CIMB and Agrobank to give a moratorium on loans of up to six months would give a sense of relief to SMEs.

Teh hoped the banks would simplify the application process for the moratorium to help SMEs affected by floods.

“A minimum of documentation should be needed as the banks will know which SMEs from the districts in Johor are badly affected by the floods,’’ he said.

Teh said the SMEs in Batu Pahat, Segamat, Kota Tinggi and Kluang were the most badly affected by floods which started in Johor on Feb 28 due to heavy continuous rain.

Meanwhile, Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said it would take at least three to six months for the businesses affected by flooding to start all over again.

“It would be even better if the state government could consider giving soft loans to those businesses," he said.

Sivakumar said the disbursement of soft loans should be done through financial institutions, adding that only genuine applicants should benefit from it.

He suggested that financial institutions work closely with business organisations to assist SMEs in applying for soft loans.

“At the same time, the business organisations could issue supporting letters to confirm that the SMEs affected by the flood are genuine applicants,’’ added Sivakumar.

He said the financial institutions must be very stringent in processing the applications by the SMEs for soft loans to avoid those not affected by the floods from taking advantage of the benefits.

Sivakumar also urged Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Ranhill SAJ to waive electricity and water bills for six months to businesses as well as domestic users affected by flood in Johor.

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Flooding , Johor , SMEs , Relief , Soft loans , Enterprises , Businesses

   

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