With the COVID 19 global pandemic still raging on, these are indeed trying times for many SME business owners.
The following are 9 ways SME business owners in Singapore can tap on to get additional operating cash flow and weather this impending economic downturn.
- Enhanced SME Working Capital Loan
SME Working Capital Loan is enhanced until 31 March 2021 to help SMEs with their working capital needs. The maximum loan quantum was raised from $300,000 to $1 million. Risk-share was also increased to 80% (from 50% and 70% for young companies).
Enterprises under the Enhanced EFS-WCL may apply for up to 1-year deferral of principal repayment to help manage their debt, subject to assessment.
2. Temporary Bridging Loan Programme
The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme provides access to working capital for business needs.
As announced at the recent Resilient Budget 2020, eligible enterprises may borrow up to $5 million under the TBLP, with the interest rate capped at 5% p.a., from Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs). The Government will provide 80% risk-share on these loans.
Eligible enterprises under the TBLP may also apply for up to 1-year deferral of principal repayment to help manage their debt, subject to assessment by the PFIs.
3. Stabilization and Support Package
The Stabilisation and Support Package (SSP) which funds enhanced programs such as the Jobs Support Scheme and offers improved support such as the Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme. These schemes are meant to benefit employers directly by subsidizing the cost of labor and retain staff.
4. SMEs Go Digital Programme
It is essential that small and medium enterprises in Singapore leverage on technological advancement streamline and enhance their business operations.
The SMEs Go Digital initiative provides support for digital solutions including basic remote working tools. The aim is to help SMEs use digital technologies and build stronger digital capabilities to seize growth opportunities in the digital economy.
5. Productivity Solutions Grant
Kick-start your business’s technology journey by taking simple steps to automate existing processes and improve productivity. The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports companies keen on adopting IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes.
PSG will be enhanced to encourage enterprises to continue their digitalization and productivity upgrading efforts. The maximum funding support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. The scope of Generic solutions will also be expanded to help enterprises implement COVID-19 business continuity measures:
- Online collaboration tools
- Virtual meeting and telephony tools
- Queue management systems
- Temperature screening solutions
6. SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit
The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) encourages employers to invest in enterprise transformation and the capabilities of their employees. Eligible employers will receive a one-off S$10,000 credit to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses on qualifying costs for supportable initiatives, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.
7. Skillsfuture Work-Study Programme
SkillsFuture Work-Study Programmes provide opportunities for Singaporeans to pursue a work-study pathway from the Diploma to Post-Graduate and Degree levels offered by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and private providers appointed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), as well as the industry.
An S$500 top-up of SkillsFuture Credit will be available for all Singapore citizens aged 25 and above to defray learning fees from April 2020.
This is perhaps a good time for companies to send their employees for an upgrade and to attain specialization in their field.
8. Enterprise Leadership For Transformation
Enterprise Leadership For Transformation is a subsidies program for business owners to learn how to bring their business to the next level.
The program will be administered by a network of partners including Institutes of Higher Learning, financial institutions and industry experts who understand the unique challenges faced by small and medium enterprises. Eligible enterprises can qualify for up to 90% funding of program fees.