Wage subsidy, PenjanaKerjaya help entrepreneurs survive challenging times

Wage subsidy, PenjanaKerjaya help entrepreneurs survive challenging times

KUALA TERENGGANU: The government’s assistance to entrepreneurs during the Movement Control Order (MCO) 1.0 last year, has not only enabled them to survive the challenging times, but some even managed to expand their businesses.

For owner of ZES Aircond & Auto Service, Wan Norhayati Tun Abu Bakar, 38, the government’s assistance received during the MCO helped her manage the cash flow and working capital of her company which is located in Bukit Kuang, Kemaman.

“My company received two government assistance during the MCO, namely, the Wage Subsidy Programme and the PenjanaKerjaya (Employment Recruitment Incentives Programme) under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

“The assistance, amounting to RM44,400 have been very helpful for my company’s survival in retaining our eight existing employees as well as for the purchase of stock for workshop operations. The assistance is the company’s ‘lifeline’ during challenging times of the MCO,” she told Bernama today.

Her company, which was established in 2017, offers air conditioning services including installation and maintenance; electrical wiring as well as repairs for cars, trucks and heavy machinery.

On top of retaining her eight employees through the Wage Subsidy Programme during MCO, it also enabled her to recruit four new employees to streamline operations.

Wan Norhayati said the recruitment of four new employees beginning next week was due to her company receiving several orders from customers involving vehicle repair work in workshops as well as wiring work at residential and commercial premises.

“It is true that businesses were affected up to 30 per cent during the last MCO as air conditioning maintenance at customers’ homes, offices and commercial premises could not be carried out. As for vehicle repair at workshops, we had to rotate employee schedules and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set.

“However, the situation is improving now and we hope our new employees will further improve the quality of the company’s services,” said Wan Norhayati who also benefited from the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (BEEP) under SME Corp and the Business Advancement and Standard Development (BASE) programme under MARA.

Meanwhile, for the owner of Nabz Food Industri Sdn Bhd, Noraini Zakaria, the government assistance received during the MCO has helped her look after the welfare of the company’s five employees.

“There was a drop of more than 50 per cent in company’s frozen food product sales. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, my company relied heavily on demand from school hostels and government-organised events, as well as supermarkets and expos.

“Fortunately, for us, there is a Wage Subsidy Programme, which helped the company to pay employees’ salaries during the three months that we had to close factory operation in Bukit Tunggal, Kuala Nerus. However, we did not just sit down and did nothing. What we did was produce Sarawak layer cakes and sold them in order to cover losses due to our inability to do business as usual,” she said.

The company, which was established in 2002, produces a variety of frozen and ready-to-eat ‘pau’ (bun) including kaya, chocolate, chicken and sardine filling and the products have successfully penetrated the market in Agro Bazaars, Xiri supermarkets, farmers’ markets and food trucks in several locations in Terengganu.

Noraini can now breathe a sigh of relief with the recent reopening of the school sessions, as demand from school canteen operators and hostels has increased again, and the latest development has motivated her to achieve sales target of RM300,000 this year. -Bernama