Facebook Malaysia is offering grants to SMEs due to Covid-19 pandemic
Businesses across Malaysia are still struggling to cope with the ongoing economic uncertainties due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. To make matters worse, the number of Covid-19 infections in the country is on the rise again after several months. In fact, the past week reported daily record highs for COVID-19 positive cases in Malaysia. The authorities also discovered new Covid-19 clusters in Kedah and Sabah. Given this ongoing predicament, Facebook Malaysia is contributing to Malaysians by following in the footsteps of movements such as #SupportLocal and #KitaJagaKita to give out RM3.2 mil in grants to 300 local small businesses under its Small Business Grant Programme. The new Facebook grant programme will be providing small local businesses with both resources and digital tools to help them better adapt to the new normal.
Facebook Malaysia said that the programme was aimed at local small businesses that are facing financial challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because Covid-19 pandemic has hit the sector the hardest.
The World Bank, OECD and Facebook are currently carrying out a study named State of Small Business Report. The study aims to identify and ascertain the current situation of small businesses in Malaysia. The report found that approximately 58% of small and medium businesses surveyed in Malaysia had expressed their concern about cash flow in the coming months.
The State of Small Business Report also revealed that local small businesses are transforming rapidly and moving towards digitalization by moving operations online. In fact, 44% of operational SMBs on Facebook reported that 25% or more of their sales were made online in the past month.
The SMEs in Malaysia
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the nation’s economy. They account for 38.9% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), 48.4% of total employment and 17.9% of Malaysia’s exports.
Moreover, based on the 2016 Economic Census, 98.5% of business enterprises of all sizes and sectors in Malaysia are SMEs.
As such, Facebook Malaysia Country Director Nicole Tan said that Facebook Malaysia understood the importance of supporting the SMEs. In fact, she revealed that Facebook is now working hard to build digital tools to support small businesses. She believed that the tools would help them survive through the current pandemic.
Online platforms in Facebook Malaysia
She repeatedly stressed on the importance of the transition towards digital platforms for sustainability. For example, she said Facebook Malaysia has launched online platforms via Facebook Shops and Facebook Business Suites. These online platforms help increase in purchases and stay connected with their clients despite the current social distancing requirements.
- Facebook Shops: Shops to help businesses set up free storefronts that consumers can access across at any time and anywhere convenient for them.
- Facebook Business Suites: A new interface to help businesses manage their pages or profiles across our apps using our free and paid tools, all in one place. It allows them to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts in one place. They can also easily see what’s working and learn what’s resonating with customers with Facebook and Instagram insights.
Grants offered under Facebook Malaysia’s Small Business Grant Programme
Each grant amounts to RM9,400 consisting RM5,900 in cash and RM3,500 in optional ad credits. The period for applications is from Oct 6 to Oct 12, 2020. Businesses who wish to apply do not need to have a Facebook presence to apply. Moreover, businesses must have between 2 and 50 employees. The applicants must have been operating for more than one year. Last but not least, they must recently experience challenges due to the pandemic.
Businesses who wish to apply can obtain more information at https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
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