KUALA LUMPUR: 2 June 2021 - SME Bank welcomed the Government's action in addressing the impact of the implementation of the Movement Control Order 3.0 (MCO 3.0) on SME entrepreneurs following the announcement by the YAB Prime Minister on the ‘Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi Tambahan’ (PEMERKASA+). SME Bank is committed to continue providing assistance to the affected customers through the reduction in financing as well as extension of moratorium to its eligible customers to help them face the challenges during the MCO 3.0.

SME Bank’s Group President / Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail said, “Starting with MCO 1.0, SME Bank became the first development bank to offer the SME Relief Program (SRP), a customer-friendly targeted payment assistance plan. Looking at the challenging economic environment, SME Bank took another proactive approach by launching the SRP 2.0 whereby this targeted payment assistance was extended further until 30 September 2021. Under the SRP, SME Bank had assisted 3,084 eligible customers with financing value of RM4.1 billion.”

Aria added, "Specifically, through the Targeted Relief & Recovery Facility (TRRF) under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), SME Bank had fully utilised the allocation given and approved financing worth RM150 million since it was first introduced last year. For PEMERKASA+, SME Bank is submitting an application to BNM for an additional fund of RM200 million.”

Apart from TRRF, SME Bank will also continue to provide the PEMERKASA+ SME Go financing scheme which is part of the economic stimulus package specifically to assist contractors (G2-G4) who have been offered contracts by Federal or State Governments, Ministries, Departments or Agencies. Contract financing will be funded by SME Bank through its MySMEBina for construction or infrastructure contracts and/or MySMEBekal for supply or maintenance contracts. The PEMERKASA+ SME Go financing scheme is for working capital purposes with a financing limit of up to RM1.0 million.

“SME Bank has also taken proactive steps by offering discounts and deferment of rental payments to tenants at the Entrepreneur Premises Complex (EPC) as well as at SME Bank’s head office since last year which provided an operating cost savings of RM6.1 million to the tenants. To support PEMERKASA+, the Bank has agreed to waive 100% of the rental fees for another 7 months starting from June 2021 to December 2021 with a cost savings of RM6.6 million. This is to ease the burden faced by our tenants and enable entrepreneurs to prepare enough cash flow to revitalize their operations post PKP 3.0,” added Aria.      

PEMERKASA+ also continues to provide opportunities for CEDAR (Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank to offer business development programs to all SME entrepreneurs who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, CEDAR has conducted various training and coaching modules either online or otherwise involving over 60,000 participants.

The enforcement of MCO since March 2020 has also had a negative impact on the B40 group which includes the micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs. SME Bank has taken the initiative to execute a corporate responsibility program namely, PENJANA [email protected] Bank with the aim of nurturing and developing the B40 group to become successful digital entrepreneurs. Looking at the positive impact of the PENJANA [email protected] Bank program achieved last year, the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MEDAC) has agreed to provide RM3.0 million fund enabling the program to be expanded and benefit more B40 entrepreneurs nationwide. A total of 220 B40 entrepreneurs are currently participating in this program.

Apart from this, SME Bank had also conducted ISHRAF program with the support from the Selangor Zakat Board (LZS) last year. ISHRAF is aimed at helping ASNAF category entrepreneurs to develop and expand their business. A total of RM250,000 from SME Bank’s Zakat fund was allocated for this program with the involvement of 20 participants. Cumulatively, they managed to record sales revenue worth RM263,000 in just three months. For this year, SME Bank will continue with ISHRAF 2.0 targeting bigger number of participants from across the country.

SME Bank’s customers and SME entrepreneurs can contact the Bank's Customer Service Center at 03-26037700 or visit the official website at www.smebank.com.my and SME Bank's official social media platform for more information.

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