KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 19 — The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Kuskop), through its various agencies, is taking steps to facilitate business loans for micro-entrepreneurs affected by the current rise in operating costs and prices of goods.

Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said that this includes providing loans at the maximum rate to entrepreneurs who are in need of financial assistance.

“I have asked all (Kuskop) agencies to facilitate business loans for entrepreneurs. This is the role of the ministry and its agencies such as Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), Tekun Nasional, and SME Corporation Malaysia to assist small enterprises in starting or expanding their businesses.

“However, there are certain criteria and conditions to be met, such as legal factors that may hinder us from providing loans. The loans provided also depend on the scale of operations and productions of the entrepreneurs themselves,” he told reporters after launching the AIM entrepreneur’s product, ‘Sambal Mek Ngoh’, here today.

Ewon also said that Kuskop is always ready to help entrepreneurs, especially small businesses still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In our engagement session with the industry, for example, the Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce has informed us that they had around 30,000 members with businesses before Covid-19, but the number has decreased to 23,000 after Covid-19. We will facilitate the process of obtaining loans for them to restart their businesses,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that the pandemic had also seen many professionals turning to entrepreneurship due to job losses, and the ministry is always ready to assist this group as well.