According to Ministry of Finance, banks in Malaysia approved RM12.43 billion under the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Soft Loans to over 26,000 SME’s during the pandemic.
This clearly indicates the desire for these enterprises on funds needed for them to operate their business during this unprecedented times. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said these loans handled by Bank Negara Malaysia would benefit roughly 26,154 SMEs.
Among the type of funding which was announced by the Central Bank includes Special Relief Facility (SRF), Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF), All-Economic Sector Facility (AES) and the Agrofood Facility (AF) funds.
SME’s were the hardest hit when the government introduced lockdown measures where nearly all sectors were shut due to Covid-19. The lifeline of loans and grants were some of the aid provided which kept these companies from folding or exercising mass job cuts.
Stimulus packages were strategies applied by most nations to prevent further damage to its survival, in Malaysia the packages came in handy and prevented unwanted calamities. The minister has also pointed out that even though the SRF funds had been fully utilised, SMEs could still apply for financing schemes that were still available through BNM funds such as ADF, AES and AF.
As for the Digitalisation Grant, Tengku Zafrul said a total of RM96.46 million had been channelled to 34,761 SMEs in the form of matching grants.
“Bank Simpanan Nasional has provided 50 per cent matching grants of up to RM5,000 to assist SMEs to adopt digitisation services in their day-to-day business operations and increase business competitiveness and productivity.
“Each SME is allowed to apply for up to three types of services with one or more digitisation service providers registered with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC),” he said.
Each grant was only provided by the government for a period of five years beginning from Feb 2020, or when it reached 100,000 applications, whichever was earlier.
A total of 86 applications were received for the Danajamin PRIHATIN Guarantee Scheme with RM1.72 billion in guarantees benefitting 52 companies had been approved.
This fund that was announced by the government under the PRIHATIN Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) which provides a guarantee scheme facility worth RM50 billion covering up to 80 percent of the loan amount for financing working capital requirements. The scheme is targeted at viable businesses in all sectors facing difficulties due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
To date, a total of 11 banks have participated in the scheme, namely Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, AmBank (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, Affin Bank Bhd/Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Bangkok Bank Bhd and MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd.