Geran Khas Prihatin is the one-off RM3,000 cash payment and financial help given by the government to eligible micro SMEs, as a way to alleviate financial hardship and stimulate the economy.
If you missed the first round of disbursement in May 2020, then good news: they reopened it! If you’re eligible, submit your application for Geran Khas Prihatin 2.0 at gkp.hasil.gov.my within 01-31 October 2020 period.
Geran Khas Prihatin 2.0 Eligibility
To apply for Geran Khas Prihatin 2.0, you must:
- Not be a previous recipient of Geran Khas Prihatin (ie those who get it the first round cannot apply)
- Be Malaysian
- Run a micro SME with (1) annual sales less than RM300,000, and (2) full-time employees not exceeding 4 people, not including owner (no employees/ solopreneur can or not? Can.)
- Be registered with LHDN by or before 31 August 2020 or SSM by or before 31 August 2020
- Still be active in running the business at time of application
You can see the full FAQ in Malay language here.
I am one of the people who applied, and successfully received the Geran Khas Prihatin money the first time around. Was told my application was successful on June 3rd,
And got the money on June 16th. Quite fast.
What can you use the Geran Khas Prihatin money for?
As far as I’m aware of, you can use the RM3000 Geran Khas Prihatin money for anything – there is no requirement to report on usage. You can use it to:
- Buy stock
- Marketing and sales
- Hire freelancers
- Pay rental
- Basically anything
This is a really interesting situation to be in. Ringgit Oh Ringgit is a blog business, ie communications slash media-related business, and having RM3000 that I can funnel into anything I want is a huge opportunity. This is the time to test out different marketing and sales strategies, the ones I’ve been too cheap to spend money on.
Here’s what I spent my Geran Khas Prihatin money on:
#1 – Promotions by Content creators
Of course my priority is to grow RinggitOhRinggit.com as well as Money Stories from Malaysians book sales. Being a content creator myself, I prefer to redistribute this money to fellow Malaysian content creators in exchange for promotional work, instead of just spending it all on Facebook ads and the like.
I’m doing this via a few ways:
- Paid RT service – Twitter-specific; you can hire popular accounts to RT your products and services, so it reaches more audience
- Tweet service – Twitter-specific; same like paid RT except they write the caption for you
- Working with Illustrators – In progress; I know design isn’t my strong suit and I want more visuals here in RoR
- Working with bloggers – In progress; I just need to figure out for what purpose
Do this type of promotion work? This experiment is still in progress – another content for another day.
#2 – Replace subscriptions with LTDs
Another thing that is practical to buy is digital marketing-related software. In the last few months, I have successfully replaced two recurring monthly subscription services with LTDs, or lifetime deals. I replaced:
- Grammarly (proofreading platform; $139.95 per annum) with Linguix ($50 one-time upfront payment)
- Mailchimp (email marketing platform; $29 per month) with Sendfox ($50 one-time upfront payment)
Both products are from AppSumo, the software deal site for entrepreneurs which I’m a huge fan of. If you’re a small business, something there is bound to help your business grow. They also have a ton of good and free resources.
Go to AppSumo > Register with my link (you get $10 to use towards any product, I get $10 too)
Protip: for USD/non-MYR payments, use BigPay card. Better exchange rate than your bank, save some money. Click here to find BigPay referral link – you get RM10, I get RM10
#3 – Paid for accounting software
Even though I stopped a couple of subscriptions, I did add one: an accounting software. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while actually and now the timing is perfect. Shoutout to Financio – thank you for letting me use the invoice service all these years <3
My fav cloud accounting software – which I’m using for only generating invoices but anyway – is stopping it’s free plan sobs. Been using since 2016
Ah fine, this subscription is worth it. Malaysian startup too, I support. New annual biz expense +RM329.50
— Suraya ringgitohringgit.com (@surayaror) September 8, 2020
#4 – Learning materials
Courses, workshops, books and other learning materials are ongoing purchases for me, GKP or no GKP, but this a good opportunity to share about Ruang Cikgu, a local online learning platform in Malay language. It has one of the sickest website UI/UX I’ve ever experienced. Seriously blown away, so clean and fresh!
They have lots of entrepreneurship-related courses. I bought one of their JomBiz bundle on small business accounting. As of time of writing (Sept 2020), these two courses are on sale for just RM28.50! Both of them! RM28.50!
Other courses available in Ruang Cikgu includes:
- Digital marketing
- Wedding-related services (flower arrangement, hantaran etc)
- Beauty-related services (makeup etc)
- Bakery business
- Fashion business
Check Ruang Cikgu’s JomBiz out 🙂
#5 – Renew Ringgitohringgit.com hosting
I use SiteGround to host Ringgit Oh Ringgit website. Been using them for 3 years and love the service.
My hosting is due to expire in November 2020, and I found out that they increased their price by a lot! (I’m on the GrowBig plan btw)
In mid-2020 @SiteGround raised the prices of their shared hosting plans. Originally starting at $3.95/mo on their StartUp plan, now they are charging $6.99/mo after the increase – that’s a 75% price hike! #siteground #webhosting pic.twitter.com/ctxVyQzfZM
— HostScore (@host_score) July 30, 2020
I have two options: Remain with SiteGround and just pay the increased price (after crying), or switch providers. I was eyeing Exabytes since they have good reputation, and plus Malaysian company some more.
So I was going back and forth about this and couldn’t make up my mind… until SiteGround reached out and offered me 20% discount as an incentive to stay (they saw my tweet about it and DMed me – I didn’t even tag them.)
So I guess I’m staying. I paid $503 (RM2.1k) for 3 years instead of $630 – that’s over RM500 in savings, but that is still double the amount I paid previously, before the price hike and without new user deal. Need to thank my lucky stars because Geran Khas Prihatin can nicely absorb this increased operational price of maintaining a website.
(Note: I won’t even consider other hosting providers except for these two, they’re both vouched by the WordPress community and I care about quality of service and reputation. If you want to try out blogging for realsies and giving yourself one year, SiteGround will cost you ~$84 or RM350 and Exabytes will cost you RM192 OR RM336 if you take the PRO add-on.)
(Lifehack: remember to register your blogging/content creation side hustle with SSM, then you’re eligible for Geran Khas Prihatin and the like in the future. Also you can write off some expenses as business expense, make this hobby pay for itself) (Business people already know this lifehack. You think they don’t use things like company car for personal use? Pfft.)
Related: all my blogging-related articles
What will you use your Geran Khas Prihatin money on?
Adding up the above, I think I’ve pretty much used up the RM3000. HOWEVER, some of it is stuff I was going to pay for anyway, so I don’t know if that counts..? Ah well let’s see, it’s not like I don’t have other business expenses to pay :/
Anyway. Thank you gomen for the financial assistance. I channelled the money for Malaysian businesses where I could, and the rest for practical and operational costs.
Any of you got the Geran Khas Prihatin money as well? What did you use the RM3000 for? Let me know in the comments section!
For those who are eligible but haven’t applied, go do it, don’t miss out this one as well – submit your application at gkp.hasil.gov.my within 01-31 October 2020 period.