KUCHING: With financial assistance from the state government, businesses can recover from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period and beyond.
Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said, for example, his ministry had implemented several initiatives to help hawkers and petty traders affected by the movement control order (MCO).
He said among the initiatives was ‘Platform Bazaar Rakyat Online Sarawakku Sayang (BROSS)’ to encourage Sarawakian businesses to promote their products online.
“A total of 7,600 hawkers and petty traders joined the programme, and the sales received during the last Ramadan was RM35 million,” he said during Astro Awani’s talk show entitled ‘Digital Economy: Post Covid-19 Economic Development Strategy’ recently.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic and the MCO had shown how important the digital economy is for the people in their daily lives including the business sectors.
“This has led to changes in the business world that is increasingly dependent on the use of digital technology in their daily operations,” he said.
Naroden further said that the ministry also conducted the entrepreneur capacity development programme online, that is, Food Handling Certification Course, marketing via social media such as YouTube and TikTok, Sarawak e-Commerce Platform and Business License Registration Course.
Other initiatives are financial assistance provided by the state government such as SME Loan Scheme (Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil Sederhana/SPIKS) worth RM20,000 to RM250,000; Graduan Ke Arah Keusahawanan (Gerak) grant with a maximum of RM20,000; Usahawan Teknikal and Vokasional (USTEV) grant with a maximum of RM20,000; Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SKMS) including the interest rate subsidy for Special Relief Fund (SRF).
“The state government has also introduced the Sarawak Entrepreneurship Grant which has three categories,” he said.
For the first category, he said, Sarawak eCommerce and Innovation Grant provided a grant up to RM5,000 for entrepreneurs to participate in digital marketing and adoption of electronic payment systems, and a grant up to RM20,000 for creating the e-Platform for the business community.
“The second is the Sarawak Marketing Development Grant of a maximum of RM20,000 to be given to SMEs participating in national and international expos,” he said.
The third category, he said, was ‘Product Development and Commercialisation Grant’ which consisted of a grant of up to RM200,000 for programmes or projects related to product development and commercialisation.