PETALING JAYA: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not benefit much from the new stimulus package, says Datuk Michael Kang.

The SME Association of Malaysia president said the industry was disappointed with the stimulus package and predicts that at least 50% of SMEs will close down.

He also expects up to four million people to lose their jobs.

“The stimulus package is good for the rakyat but not for businesses. They will collapse as there is nothing much that would benefit the SMEs.

“Why would SMEs take loans to pay salaries and rental when they don’t have any income to sustain their businesses?

“I received immediate response from the members and they are all very unhappy.

“Some are even ready to close down now, especially retailers, who are hit hard as they don’t have any customers,” said Kang when contacted yesterday.

Kang said SMEs were facing the burden of having to pay full salaries to workers, as well as rental but did not have the means to do so.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that the government would allocate an additional RM4.5bil to five main initiatives.

They are additional funds for the Special Relief Facility for SMEs, providing an additional RM500mil under the micro-credit scheme, SMEs with less than four years business records can also take advantage of the “BizMula-i” and “Biz-Wanita-i” through Credit Guarantee Corporation for financing of up to RM300,000, among others.

Kang said the initiatives focused more on loans and credit, which were not much help to SMEs.

He said the Special Relief Facility had very stringent criteria in order to obtain loans.

“We hope the government will look for other ways to help SMEs survive because there are not many elements that can benefit us,” he said.

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