6 July 2020

Certainty for SMEs Despite COVID-19

As the global economy continues to grapple with the crisis caused by COVID-19, SMEs in Malaysia are finding themselves tasked with the unforeseen challenge of staying profitable despite a pandemic.

Given the rapid nature in which current events continue to unfold, uncertainty has become all too common throughout many facets of the economy as well as life in general.

Additionally, speculation and misinformation have created an environment in which SMEs throughout Malaysia are forced to consider extreme options to weather the economic fall out.

With this cloud of uncertainty hanging over Malaysian SMEs, now is the appropriate time to look towards what we know to find a path back to profitable operations.


So, to address the questions on all of our minds:

How is it possible to remain profitable despite the extended MCO and RMCO?
 

What we know:

  • The current iteration of the MCO, now called the RMCO, is currently allowing businesses to open, though discussions are being held to decide whether this period should be extended again.
  • The Malaysian government has announced a RM250 billion, and subsequent RM10 billion, stimulus package with the aim of providing assistance to SMEs.
  • The stimulus package is slated to provide monthly wage subsidies:
    • For SMEs with 200+ employees - RM600 per employee each month. Though, the government has limited the number of eligible employees for the subsidy to 200.
    • For SMEs with 76-200 employees - RM800 per employee each month.
    • For SMEs with 1-76 employees - RM 1200 per employee each month


Some SMEs have found themselves able to utilize digital solutions as a means of remaining operationable while others have pivoted their services to mitigate losses due to the SOPs regarding social distancing and the “new normal” in business operations.
 

What This Means For Your Business

Identifying opportunities to adapt core services to the current situation will become paramount in ensuring your SME remains operational despite the MCO.

An in-depth look into pivoting towards profits can be found in our Pandemic Proof Your SME piece.


Without positive cashflow, how can SMEs manage operating costs without retrenchment?
 

What we know:

 

What This Means For Your Business

As the RMCO currently continues,  many Malaysian SMEs are finding themselves forced to face the possibility of pay cuts and eventual retrenchments if a positive cash flow is not reestablished.

Given the nature of such options, many SMEs are instead seeking alternative options to remaining operational.

Alternatives such as governmental assistance, explored above, offer a state-sponsored option to help mitigate the losses caused by the MCO.

Other alternatives include seeking traditional financing as a means of offsetting operational cost.

Though, it is important to note that there have been reported obstacles for SMEs seeking traditional loans given the current economic climate.

For SMEs that are unable to pursue a traditional route to financing or those in which the stimulus package does not comprehensively cover operational costs, micro-loans and crowd-sourced alternatives are also available. 

 

Firms such as Cofundr offer SMEs the opportunity to offset operational costs, such as insurance premiums, via crowdsourced investment. Thus, allowing SMEs further coverage during the economic uncertainty surrounding the MCO.
 

Respite in Sight

While the situation in Malaysia continues to evolve moment by moment, for SMEs, efforts are being taken, both on a private and governmental level, to ensure that the “backbone” of the Malaysian GDP is able to weather the economic strife.

This offers a sense of respite and a bit of certainty in knowing that options are being explored with the health of citizens as well as the health of the economy taking forefront in those discussions.
 

With possibilities to pivot towards digital solutions, assistance in the form of stimulus packages, and alternative financing options made available, such as Cofundr, SME operators can be certain that their needs are being taken into account during these uncertain times.

And given the scarcity of certainty in recent moments, it is a welcome return.


Is your company facing uncertainty during the pandemic? 
Let us help you finance your working capital with crowdsourced funding tailored to your company's needs.

Find out how you can cofund your company's working capital today!