A total of 32,469 small medium enterprises (SMEs) have folded since March, when the movement control order (MCO) was first implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that 9,675 SMEs shut down their operations during the first phase of the MCO from 18 March to 9 June. From June to September, 22,794 SMEs had folded, with August recording the highest figure at 17,800 SMEs closing down during that month.
The minister gave these statistics in a parliamentary written response to a question regarding the number of SMEs that had folded since the start of MCO, quoting figures given by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
Wan Junaidi added that surveys conducted by the ministry had found that the majority of the folded businesses were micro SMEs – making up 79.5% of the closures during the MCO and 70.8% during the RMCO. Moreover, the majority of micro SMEs surveyed had yet to receive any government assistance.
The ministry has proposed that the government increase the current special Covid-19 financial relief to entrepreneurs in order to address this issue. It also proposed an expansion of promotional, marketing, and product development training programmes, in addition to hosting programmes to help entrepreneurs digitise their businesses.