Much-needed economic relief

(From front left) Asfia, and Abang Johari at the Special Meeting on the 2022 State Budget.

MIRI: Bumiputera entrepreneurs here have described the Bumiputera Empowerment Fund and Business Recovery Assistance fund and the Business Recovery Assistance fund which would be set up by the state government next year as “much-needed economic relief.”

The two funds was announced by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during a special meeting on the 2022 State Budget with Sarawakian lawmakers at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here on Tuesday.

Mohammad Adib

A sum of RM10 milllion will be allocated for the Bumiputera Business Empowerment fund while for the Business Recovery Assistance fund, a one -off special grant of RM20 million will be set aside to assist Sarawak Business Federation and its affiliates to organise capacity building and enterprise development programmes.

“Our state government is taking immediate and decisive action to support Bumiputera businesses facing hardship as a result of the Covid-19,” said 30 year-old Mohammad Adib Abdul Ghani, a Bumiputera entrepreneur here.

Adib, who had been involved in the beverages business for five years, added that the relief funds would help small businesses to rebound after the pandemic.

Abdul Razak

“Small businesses are slowly resuming their operations after the government uplifted the restriction movement. We are improving our operations and adapting business models to recover,” he said.

Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS) Miri secretary, Abdul Razak Joni, said, “To ensure smooth execution of the funds, the relevant agencies must be proactive.

“They must reduce red tape in the application process to ensure funding and relief is available to help those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Razak added the announcement of the relief funds showed that the state government was serious in helping   Bumiputera entrepreneurs.