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Local Businesses in Malaysia Are Dying But Here’s What We Can Do


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Source: iStock & Freepik

Most of our favourite local eateries and retail outlets actually make up a majority of business establishments here in Malaysia. They, in turn, also depend on other businesses which supply them with everything they need such as ingredients and materials in order to operate.

Without these small businesses, the country’s economy could be severely impacted. This is why we should try our best to support them whenever we can. Here are a few things about small businesses in Malaysia you need to know, why they are important to us and how you can help them, especially now:


1. Small businesses make up 98.5% of businesses in Malaysia

Hawker Stall

That means almost ALL businesses in Malaysia are made up of small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Evidently, this makes them the backbone of our economy. They are sub-divided into three categories – micro, small and medium enterprises. The largest sector is the services sector, making up 89.2% of all SMEs in the country, which include:

  • Restaurants
  • Child care
  • Laundry
  • Coffee shops
  • Travel agencies
  • Fashion
  • Food & snacks
  • Smartphone & PC repair, and many more!

Apart from the services sector, other sectors comprised of manufacturing, construction, agriculture and mining. Each sector works hand-in-hand but we, the end consumers, mostly interact with the services sector.


2. SMEs contribute a large chunk of Malaysia’s gross domestic product

Hong Kong Best Barista 3

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), small businesses alone contributed to 38.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018. In layman’s terms, a country’s GDP is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period. In 2019, DOSM registered a GDP growth of 4.3% and once again, the services sector made the biggest growth at 6.1% and added a value of RM617 billion to the GDP.


3. 20% of SMEs are women-owned and they help create jobs for Malaysians

Asian Female Boutique Fashion Store Owner

The definition of women-owned refers to any company where 51% or more of its equity is owned by a woman/women. The same goes for when the CEO or Managing Director is a woman who owns at least 10% of equity.

In 2018, the government spent RM2.3 billion on 10 women entrepreneurship programmes to spur women’s participation in business. These programmes provided intensive training in entrepreneurship, export support and financial assistance for women entrepreneurs in an effort to empower and help create jobs especially for women in the B40 group.

Beyond that, SMEs have been providing about 5.7 million jobs to 70% of Malaysia’s workforce. WOW!!!


4. You can easily support small local businesses in more ways than one

Local Coffee Shop

It really doesn’t take much to help out our local SMEs. The most obvious and direct way to do so is to buy local! The next time you’re about to purchase from an e-commerce behemoth, find out whether a local retailer offers the same item.

Other ways you can help:

  • Forego delivery and do self-pickup – This can help sellers to reduce delivery fees and help them cut some charges.
  • Shop from local independent stores instead of a famous chain – Shopping at those small, local stores would sometimes surprise you with the treasures you might find!
  • Spread the word – If there’s a local business you really like, share about it on social media! It won’t cost you anything but it will help these businesses tremendously in terms of exposure.


5. There is one more way you can help out small businesses

Indie Bookstore

Independent bookstores can be quite charming

There’s no doubt that technology has come a long way and has benefitted us in many ways. Bigger businesses have been using them to help the smaller ones out and we think this one could make a big impact on local SMEs, as long as people know about it.

We’re talking about Maybank Sama-Sama Lokal, a zero commission platform that helps small local businesses go online & 100% proceeds go entirely to the business!

Ssl Webbanner 3

That’s right, Sama-Sama Lokal by Maybank has zero platform and transaction fees, which means any merchant that comes on board doesn’t need to pay for anything. This can help them save operation costs, especially for new and smaller businesses!

They also provide one-to-one assistance to help onboarding of the merchant’s menu and setup their online store. This is a dedicated and close-knit service not found on any other platform!

If your friend, family member or even yourself is running a small business, this is a great platform to register your enterprise! A wide range of business categories can already be found on Sama-Sama Lokal including:

  • Hawker stalls
  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Markets & sundry shops
  • Household
  • Fashion
  • Beauty, and more.

You don’t even have to be a registered business to apply! It’s also super easy to get listed! All you have to do is:

  1. Head over to Maybank Sama-Sama Lokal’s registration page
  2. Fill in all the required details
  3. Click ‘Agree & Submit’

That’s it! After that, you just have to wait for Maybank to get in touch with you and you’re all set!

Once you’re listed, both Maybank AND non-Maybank (MAE wallet users) customers can order from your business at any time. Additionally, deliveries are also covered by Maybank for selected merchants up to 5km!

If you’re a customer and wondering how to order from one of the merchants on Sama-Sama Lokal, there are just a few easy steps:

  1. Head over to the Maybank Sama-Sama Lokal page
  2. Click on the category you wish to browse (e.g. hawker, restaurants, household, etc.)
  3. Click on the merchant you want to order from
  4. Click on ‘view menu/order online’
  5. Choose your items
  6. Fill in your details
  7. Make payment and check the order confirmation

And you’re done! Now just wait for your order to arrive!

With Sama-Sama Lokal, Maybank hopes to help local micro and SMEs reach more Malaysians as well as Maybank’s millions of customers.


Your help will make a difference so make sure you share this platform around and let’s keep our local businesses up and running!

Source: Freepik
Source: iStock

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