The Singaporean government has extended financial support schemes for businesses.
The new measures will include a six-month extension for the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme at reduced levels, as well as additional support via the Enterprise Financing Scheme to allow Singaporeans to cover trade and project expenditure.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat also pledged to extend or enhance business grants “to give a boost to businesses seeking to internationalise, transform, and digitalise”. These would include the Market Readiness Assistant Grant (expansion into new markets), the Productivity Solutions Grant (digitalisation and automation), the Enterprise Development Grant (business development), and the PACT programme (cross-company collaborations).
Businesses will also be more incentivised to invest in employee upskilling under the Enhanced Training Support Package, which has been extended until 30 June 2021.
Wage support for people with disabilities has also been introduced, with the government subsidising up to 50% of salaries for a year under the Job Growth Incentive.
Government Support Schemes for Businesses (Source)
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced separately that eligible SMEs will be able to defer up to 80% of their principal payments on secured loans and government loans under the Enhanced Working Capital Loan Scheme and Temporary Bridging Loan Programme until 30 June 2021. Businesses can apply from 2 November 2020 onwards.
SMEs will also be allowed to restructure their loans under the Extended Support Scheme – Customised (ESS-C) across multiple financial institutions.
The new measures come in addition to existing financial support schemes for businesses, which target job growth, economy-wide digitalisation, and workforce upskilling.
The Singaporean government has spent nearly SGD 100 billion (USD 73.6 billion) in financial support for businesses and individuals since the beginning of the pandemic. Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat expects to spend a further SGD 8 billion (USD 5.9 billion) this financial year as the economic impact of COVID spills over into 2021.