1 August 2022

SME-friendly initiative to help accelerate economic growth in the Northern Corridor Economic Region


Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (collectively “CIMB” or “the Group”) are offering the NCIA-CIMB Entrepreneur Scheme (“NCES”) to eligible micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (“MSMEs”) in the northern region, namely Perlis, Kedah, Penang, and Perak, which make up the Northern Corridor Economic Region (“NCER”). The scheme provides up to RM5 million in rebates on interest and profit from CIMB’s SME loans and financing which is intended to further stimulate the growth of local businesses and support the development as well as recovery of the economy.


The NCES is a partnership between CIMB and the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (“NCIA”) which was launched in February 2022. The partnership aims to revitalise the development of close to 1,500 MSMEs, in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan, via the reduction of financing costs through interest/profit subsidies.


Eligible SMEs will be provided with a 50 percent rebate on the total interest/profit of their CIMB SME Quick Biz Financing. This includes financing under the Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), a financing facility established by Bank Negara Malaysia to provide relief and support the recovery of SMEs affected by the pandemic. SMEs eligible for the TRRF include those in wholesale and retail trade and business services subsectors, as well as other sectors including food and beverage services, human health and social work, arts, entertainment and recreation. The TRRF covers working capital financing with a tenure of up to seven years and financing of up to RM500,000 for each business.


Under the NCES, CIMB is the financier of the facility, whilst NCIA’s role is to assist eligible customers to reduce their cost of financing through subsidies. Meanwhile, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC) operates as the sole agency that provides guarantee cover of up to 70 percent on the financing provided to the SMEs.


Victor Lee Meng Teck, CEO, Group Commercial Banking, CIMB Group said, “The country’s recovery continues to accelerate in parallel with the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, contributing to a climate of re-emerging, as well as new business opportunities which includes both the supply and demand parts of the value chain. The NCES is timely as we reaffirm our commitment to the rejuvenation and growth of MSME businesses which are the key drivers in the revival of the Malaysian economy. As a newly on-boarded bank, the scheme gives us the opportunity to provide much-needed assistance in the form of rebates on financing packages for SMEs in the northern region whilst also promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship at the same time. We look forward to playing a continued role as a catalyst for growth and we hope our efforts continue to have a positive impact on the communities, MSMEs, and the economy as a whole."


Supporting the business growth and creation of job opportunities for recipients under this scheme, CIMB has also rolled out the flagship SME Community Outreach programme for MSMEs within the northern region. This is done via webinars, roadshows, and engagement activities, where the participants are provided with insights to the different types of financing available and guidance on how best to ramp-up their digitalisation efforts. Through these initiatives, both CIMB and NCIA will provide guidance for MSMEs in enhancing their business productivity and profitability whilst boosting their competitiveness in the marketplace and enabling them to create new job opportunities – particularly within the northern region.


To-date, the ongoing capacity building engagement sessions, which started in February 2022, have benefited over 140 participants. The sessions have helped improve their financial literacy while obtaining a better understanding of the NCES and the role CGC plays in guaranteeing credit, as well as the benefits and opportunities afforded through digitalisation of businesses with partners such as Exabytes and Mesinkira.


Mohamad Haris Kader Sultan, Chief Executive, NCIA said, “The pandemic has had a profound impact on our communities and affected the livelihoods of many. NCIA has always placed emphasis on the sustainability of the Rakyat in NCER in our short-term and long-term efforts to revitalise the socioeconomic development for all. This includes the business community, which forms the backbone of the nation’s recovery. Our collaboration with CIMB is one more initiative among the many which NCIA has implemented in order to further boost the recovery of MSMEs, which in turn will spur the continued growth trajectory for Malaysian businesses."


The NCIA is the statutory body responsible for boosting the economic growth of the NCER covering the four northern states of Peninsular Malaysia which includes Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak.


The NCES is open for applications until 30 September 2022. For further information, interested SMEs may get in touch with their CIMB Relationship Manager or visit any CIMB Bank/CIMB Islamic branch.

(L-R) Wan Mastura Mohd Zain, Assistant Manager, EntrepreneurNCER & SME Development Unit, Human Capital Department of NCIA; Datin Shahdee Dato’ Ahmad, Director of Human Capital/Secretariat, CEO’s Office of NCIA; Jaya Balan Kathiravalu, Head, SME Banking of CIMB & Mohd Rizal Khir, Director, Islamic Banking of CIMB at a recent SME Community Outreach programme.