14/06/2021 03:43 PM

By Karina Imran

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14  -- Cosmetics entrepreneur Norfazlina Mohd Fouzi has decided not to apply for the targeted moratorium offered under PEMERKASA Plus as she has prepared her finances to navigate through the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.

"I did not apply for the moratorium this time around as I can afford to pay my loan through systematic financial planning. Moreover, the moratorium does not wipe out our loans but just gives us space to make financial arrangements due to the pandemic.

“For me, the moratorium was very helpful, especially during MCO 1.0. We were all shocked by the situation but after a few MCOs, I think entrepreneurs, including me, should already know and be better prepared to face the situation,” she told Bernama today.

The PEMERKASA Plus initiatives for affected entrepreneurs included Targeted Bank Loan Assistance for micro enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that were not allowed to operate during the MCO, a 30 per cent discount on rental of premises under the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) Prihatin programme, and the RM1.5 billion Wage Subsidy Programme.

Besides that, there are special tax cuts on owners of buildings and business spaces who offer at least 30 per cent rental discounts to SMEs and non-SMEs for six more months until Dec 31, 2021.

Malaysia implemented an automatic moratorium for six months from April to September 2020, for the benefit of the people and businesses.

A former bank officer, Norfazlina, 35, who produces cosmetics products under Fazsbeauty brand, said it was not wrong for the entrepreneurs affected to apply for a moratorium for the second time, the six-month automatic moratorium received during MCO 1.0 should have helped them stay afloat.

She said the process to apply for a moratorium was simple and did not burden entrepreneurs.

"As soon as the moratorium was announced, the banks offered a moratorium to entrepreneurs who just needed to submit some documents and sign an agreement. I was then staying in a village, Perak, while all my the documents were in Kuala Lumpur.

"But the bank helped a lot, I just needed to sign the document digitally to allow me to receive the moratorium," she said.

On the impact of COVID-19 on her business, Norfazlina said she had taken a drastic decision to downsize her business operations where she had to lay off two of her four employees.

She also had to operate entirely online and at home to save the company’s finances.

“I used the money from the reduction in operating costs of the business to repay the loan and has successfully managed the cash-flow of the business. I'm a little upset because I had to lay off my staff but it has helped keep my business going,” she said.

Norfazlina, who sells skincare sets such as vitamin C skin moisturising gel, said she also organises an online make-up class to cover her business expenses.

She said her make-up class has received an encouraging response, during which she promoted her skincare sets, while her grooming services were still running as usual.



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