SINGAPORE: Enterprise Singapore announced on Monday (Oct 12) that it will enhance and extend several grants and loan schemes, as part of its continued efforts to support companies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants seek to support the transformation efforts of companies, as well as those looking to expand overseas and improve their digital capabilities, said Enterprise Singapore.
"All the schemes that we are rolling out is not just to help our companies tide through the cyclical challenges.
"More importantly, we hope that our companies, our retailers, will be able to use this help to help them pivot to new products, new markets, so that they can have a new growth trajectory beyond COVID-19," said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who spoke to the media after a visit to SK Jewellery Group on Monday.
With border restrictions continuing to disrupt travel, the Market Readiness Assistance Grant (MRA) - which supports local enterprises looking to expand overseas - will be expanded from Nov 1 to include support for participation in virtual trade fairs.
Such a move, said Enterprise Singapore, will "encourage and enable companies to find new business opportunities overseas through such virtual platforms, without physical travel".
The funding support level for the Market Readiness Assistance Grant will also be increased to 80 per cent between Nov 1 this year and Sep 30 next year, up from the current 70 per cent. Support levels will return to up to 70 per cent from October next year.
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The agency is also extending the enhanced Enterprise Development Grant and the enhanced Productivity Solutions Grant.
The Enterprise Development Grant provides customised support to local companies for growth and transformation, while the Productivity Solutions Grants supports companies in adopting off-the-shelf, pre-approved productivity solutions and equipment.
Companies who tap these two grants will be able to receive the enhanced funding support level of up to 80 per cent until Sep 30 next year. Support levels will return to 70 per cent thereafter.
Meanwhile, businesses that need support to sustain and grow their business activities can also tap on several enhanced loan schemes, said Enterprise Singapore.
The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, which offers working capital to local enterprises, will be extended from Apr 1, 2021 to Sep 30, 2021. The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s SGD Loan Facility will also extend support for all loans approved under the programme until Sep 30 next year.
With this extension, the Government will lower its risk-share on the loan from 90 per cent to 70 per cent, and lower the maximum loan quantum from S$5 million to S$3 million.
“This is to calibrate the support for businesses as the economy gradually recovers,” said Enterprise Singapore.
Similarly, the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Trade Loan, which supports trade financing needs of local firms, will be extended from Apr 1, 2021 to Sep 30, 2021. The Government will also lower its risk-share on this loan from 90 per cent to 70 per cent, but keep the maximum loan quantum at S$10 million.
The Loan Insurance Scheme will also be streamlined into the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Trade Loan from Apr 1 next year “to enable Singapore enterprises to access trade loans more readily”.
Borrowers looking for coverage for trade loans can apply to participating financial institutions for government risk cover under the scheme, said ESG.
Due to the challenges faced by the construction sector, the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Project Loans, which currently only covers overseas projects, will now be extended to construction companies looking to finance their secured domestic projects. The extension will run from Jan 1, 2021 to Mar 31, 2022.
Companies with construction SSIC codes beginning with 41, 42 or 43 can apply to their participating financial institution for the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Project Loans for the following types of loans:
- Working Capital
- Factory/Building/Land (includes Purchase/Renovation/Construction)
- Equipment/Machineries/Other Fixed Assets/Machinery Hire Purchase
The Government will provide 50 per cent risk-share for loans made by participating financial institutions. In some cases, the Government's risk-share may increase to 70 per cent for young companies. The maximum loan quantum will be S$30 million.
Young companies are firms formed within the past five years, with at least one employees and more than 50 per cent equity owned by individuals.