AS the JOHOR government reopens its economy, home florist Josephine Ruby Samuel is blooming with hope.
She plans to open her own boutique in March or April because business has never been better.
“When the movement control order was first imposed in March 2020, I received a lot of online orders,” the sole owner of Ruby Florals & Gifts said when meeting at a seminar on SMEs/microloans organized by the Johor Indian Business Organization (Jiba ).
Ruby has been running her business from her home in Taman Universiti, Johor Baru for six years. She is assisted by two part-time friends.
“However, feedback from my customers showed that they preferred me to open a store rather than operate from home,” she said.
Ruby hopes to get RM50,000 to open a shop in her neighborhood and hire two full-time workers.
Most of her clients have placed flower orders for wedding ceremonies, anniversary celebrations and birthday parties, as well as baby showers and church-related services.
Meanwhile, Lavish Services Marketing Manager R. Agilan has urged the Johor government to quickly address the issues faced by construction companies.
“They are currently facing rising prices for construction materials and a shortage of foreign workers.
“These two serious problems have been going on since the beginning of 2020.”
Agilan said the company provides consulting services to small construction companies when submitting documents for tenders.
Unlike the big boys, he said small businesses lack resources and experienced staff.
“Five out of six customers closed shop, and the closures made it worse,” Agilan said.
He hoped that the state government would heed the recommendation of the National Recovery Council (NRC) to come up with immediate and long-term solutions to tackle the two main problems of rising prices and labor shortages. work.
“The construction industry is important in driving the country’s economic growth,” Agilan added.
Meanwhile, Jiba President P. Sivakumar said opening the country’s international borders was the right move.
He said businesses especially in downtown Johor Baru and Johor Baru district were badly affected when the border between Malaysia and Singapore was closed on March 18, 2020.
“As a border town, Johor Baru depends on Singapore tourist dollars and the wages of locals working in the republic,” Sivakumar said.
Thousands of Malaysians working there had helped boost the local economy by spending their money in Johor, he said, adding that it had benefited the property and retail sectors.
“Now, with thousands of residents stuck in Singapore since March 2020, less money is flowing through Johor’s economy,” he added.