Grants and Programmes for Your Business (COVID-19 Edition)

Grants and Programmes for Your Business (COVID-19 Edition) Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are an important segment in Singapore’s business environment. According to the latest SingStat figures, out of 273,100 enterprises, SMEs makeup 99% and employs 72% of the workforce.

As such, the government takes great care in nurturing the growth of local SMEs. This can be seen from the grants and initiatives launched across by many Singapore Government agencies and ministries, holistically addressing the varied needs of SMEs.

The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports SMEs’ adoption of pre-scoped IT solutions (from the pre-approved list of vendors) and equipment (SME to source their preferred vendor) with the outcome of improved productivity.

  • Eligible costs:
    • Covers up to 80% funding for eligible costs (until 31 Dec 2020; 70% thereafter).
    • The specific cost of IT solutions and equipment.
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • The business entity is registered and operating in Singapore.
    • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore.
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding.
    • Applicant’s Group annual sales turnover less than $100 million, OR less than 200 employees (for selected solutions only).
  • How you can get started:
    • Based on your industry classification, look at the pre-defined solutions and equipment available for your consideration.

 
The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) supports SMEs’ plans in the upgrading of business core capabilities (within the 5 pre-defined areas; business strategy development, financial management, human capital development, service excellence, strategic brand and marketing development), innovating (within the 3 pre-defined areas; automation, process redesign, product development) or venturing overseas (within the 4 pre-defined areas; mergers and acquisitions, overseas marketing presence, pilot project and test-bedding, standards adoption).

  • Eligible costs:
    • Covers up to 80% funding for eligible costs (until 30 Sep 2021; 70% thereafter)
    • Third-party consultancy fees
    • Software and equipment
    • Internal manpower
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • The business entity is registered and operating in Singapore.
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding.
    • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project.
  • How you can get started:
    • Within the pre-defined areas, request for cost quotation from your preferred service provider (please note that for consultancy related costs to be claimable, your engaged consultant must have an Enterprise Singapore-recognized certification issued by Institute of Management Consultants (Singapore), Singapore PMC Certification Pte Ltd or TUV SUD PSB Pte Ltd)

 

The SME Working Capital Loan (WCL) is part of the Enterprise Financing Scheme umbrella. As an unsecured loan (non-collateralized) with a relatively low quantum of up to $1 million per borrower, a relatively short repayment period of 5 years and an interest rate that is dependent on the Participating Financial Institution’s assessment of risks involved, the main purpose of SME WCL is to finance daily operational cashflow needs of the applicant.

  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Business entity is registered and physically present in Singapore
    • ACRA registered as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership or Company
    • Have a minimum of 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean(s) and/or Singapore PR(s), determined by the ultimate individual ownership
    • Borrower Group revenue of up to $100 million or employment of up to 200 employees
    • Borrower Group consists of Borrower and corporate shareholders that hold above 50% of Borrower’s total shareholding, including all subsequent corporate parents and subsidiaries
  • How you can get started:
    • Download and fill up the application form, contact the list of Participating Financial Institutions and submit the application form to your assigned banker.

 

The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) is a temporary programme (ends on 30 Sep 2021) aimed to provide businesses with access to working capital for business needs. As an unsecured loan (non-collateralized), Borrowers may borrow up to $5 million per Borrower Group (from now until 31 Mar 2021) or $3 million per Borrower Group (from 1 Apr 2021 to 30 Sep 2021) with a maximum repayment period of 5 years and maximum interest rate of 5% per annum.

  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Business entity is registered and physically present in Singapore
    • ACRA registered as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership or Company
    • Have a minimum of 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean(s) and/or Singapore PR(s), determined by the ultimate individual ownership
    • Borrower Group consists of Borrower and corporate shareholders that hold above 50% of Borrower’s total shareholding, including all subsequent corporate parents and subsidiaries
  • How you can get started:
    • Download and fill up the application form, contact the list of Participating Financial Institutions and submit the application form to your assigned banker.

 

The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) is a temporary programme (ends on Feb 2021) which is aimed at encouraging the hiring of local workforce (Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents).

  • Covers 25% for the first $5,000 of the new hires’ 1st year gross monthly wage (includes local employee mandatory CPF contributions but excludes employer CPF contributions)
  • Covers 50% for the first $5,000 of the new hires’ 1st year gross monthly wage, where the new hire is aged 40 and above or is a Person With Disabilities (must be supported by SG Enable)
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • The company must show (based on the company’s mandatory CPF contributions) an increase in overall local workforce size AND increase in local workforce size earning at least $1,400 per month, as compared to the Aug 2020 local workforce
    • No restriction on company size nor ownership structure
  • How you can get started:
    • No action is required on the company’s end, as eligible companies will automatically receive their JGI payouts, which will be computed monthly based on the company’s mandatory CPF contributions and disbursed at the end of every quarter.

 

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) is a temporary programme (ends on Mar 2021) which is aimed at encouraging the retaining of local workforce (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents).

Companies will receive payouts to offset local workforce wages, based on their industries (SSIC codes).

  • Tier 1
    • Eligible industries:
      • Aviation and Aerospace
      • Tourism, Hospitality, Conventions and Exhibitions
    • Eligible support:
      • Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 Wages: 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Sep 2020 to Mar 2021 Wages: 50% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
  • Tier 1
    • Eligible industries:
      • Build Environment
    • Eligible support:
      • Jun 2020 to Aug 2020 Wages: 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Sep 2020 to Oct 2020 Wages: 50% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Nov 2020 to Mar 2021 Wages: 30% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
  • Tier 2
    • Eligible industries:
      • Licensed food shops and food stalls (including hawker stalls)
      • Retail
      • Arts and Entertainment
      • Land Transport
      • Marine and Offshore
    • Eligible support:
      • Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 Wages: 50% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Sep 2020 to Mar 2021 Wages: 30% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
  • Tier 3A
    • Eligible industries:
      • All other employers
    • Eligible support:
      • Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 Wages: 25% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Sep 2020 to Mar 2021 Wages: 10% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
  • Tier 3B
    • Eligible industries:
      • Biomedical Sciences
      • Precision Engineering
      • Electronics
      • Financial Services
      • Information and Communications Technology and Media
      • Retail
    • Eligible support:
      • Oct 2019 to Aug 2020 Wages: 25% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
      • Sep 2020 to Dec 2020 Wages: 10% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee
    • Eligibility criteria:
      • Gross monthly wage includes local employee mandatory CPF contributions but excludes employer CPF contributions
      • Not in the sectors under the employer exclusion list
      • Not a business owner (eg the Sole Proprietor under a Sole Proprietorship, the Partner under a general Partnership, Limited Liability Partnerships or Limited Partnership)
      • Not an employer trading in your own personal capacity (eg do not have a UEN, hiring of personal driver or domestic helper)
      • No restriction on company size nor ownership structure
    • How you can get started:
      • Based on your SSIC code, refer to your relevant Tier for better understanding of your expected payouts.
      • No action is required on the company’s end, as eligible companies will automatically receive their JSS payouts, which will be computed based on the company’s mandatory CPF contributions and disbursed quarterly.

 

The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme aims to provide attachment and training opportunities to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents mid-career jobseekers, bridging them towards potential full-time job opportunities. Under the Company Attachments route, the company will take on the candidates as a Trainee for the period of the programme. Under the Company Training route, the company will provide a SkillsFuture-listed full-time course lasting 6 to 12 months where the candidates will receive $1,500 monthly allowance from the Government and also be able to use SkillsFuture Credit to pay for the course fees (nett payable ranges between $500 and $1,000).

  • Eligible costs (Company Attachments route):
    • Covers 80% of monthly traineeship allowance, up to 9 months per trainee
    • Monthly traineeship allowance must be within stipulated band of $1,400 to $3,000
    • Open to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, except for recent graduates (Graduated from Institute of Technical Education, Polytechnics, Universities and other private educational institutions or completed National Service in 2019 or 2020)
  • Eligible costs (Company Training route):
    • Not applicable
    • Open to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents with 2 or more years of working experience, except for recent graduates (Graduated from Institute of Technical Education, Polytechnics, Universities and other private educational institutions or completed National Service in 2019 or 2020)
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Business entity is registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • How you can get started:
    • Fill in the online form (for Company Attachments route) or online form (for Company Training route) to indicate your interest to be a host organization or training provider respectively.

 

The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) is a grant which supports SMEs overseas expansion activities within the 3 pre-defined areas; Overseas marketing promotion (overseas marketing and PR activities, participation in overseas trade fairs not supported under LEAD International Fairs & Missions), overseas business development (business matching), overseas market setup (market entry, in-depth FTA consultancy undertaken by a pre-listed vendor).

  • Eligible costs:
    • Underlying activities to be completed within 12 months
    • Covers up to 70% for eligible costs, capped at $100,000 per company per new market
    • New market is defined as a specific overseas country where the company has not had more than $100,000 in overseas sales annually in each of the last 3 preceding years
    • Each category is subjected to a maximum limit:
      • Overseas market promotion: $20,000
      • Overseas business development: $50,000
      • Overseas market setup: $30,000
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Business entity is registered or incorporated in Singapore
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Applicant’s Group annual sales turnover less than $100 million, OR less than 200 employees
    • Satisfies the new market definition
  • How you can get started:
    • Within the pre-defined areas, request for information from your preferred service provider
      • Testimonials or credentials
      • Track records of past completed projects
      • Detailed scope of services
      • Cost breakdown by scope of services
      • Expected deliverables for the project

 

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) is an initiative that works across existing grants and programmes, as a supplementation to existing support. Eligible employers will receive a one-off $10,000 credit to cover up to 90% of costs that are not covered by the existing grants and programmes’ cost coverage.

  • Eligible grants and programmes
    • Category: Enterprise Transformation Programmes (subject to a category cap of $7,000)
      • ESG: Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
      • ESG: Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Programme (ELT)
      • ESG: Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
      • ESG: Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
      • STB: Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
      • CAAS: Aviation Development Fund (ADF)
    • Category: Workforce Transformation Programmes (subject to a category cap of $3,000)
      • SF: Skills Framework-aligned courses
      • ESG: Professional Conversion Programme
      • ESG: Rank-and-File Place-and-Train Programmes
      • ESG: Support for Job Redesign consultancy under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG-JR)
      • ESG: Job Redesign initiatives
      • STB: Training Industry Professionals in Tourism (TIP-iT)
  • Eligibility criteria:
    • Eligible employers will be notified in writing
    • Have contributed at least $750 Skills Development Levy over the qualifying period
    • Have employed at least 3 Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents every month over the same qualifying period
    • Have not been qualified at any of the earlier periods
  • Qualifying Periods
    • 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
    • 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020
    • 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020
    • 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020 (Final qualifying period)
  • How you can get started
    • No action is required on the company’s end, as eligible companies will be informed by Enterprise Singapore in writing
    • All claims have to be submitted latest by 30 June 2023 (according to respective eligible grants and programmes’ processes), the company will receive reimbursement directly from SFEC.

 

There are many supporting grants available to assist your business in a wide range of areas from automation and digitization, to upgrading of your core capabilities, to supporting your overseas expansion plans, to financing at preferential rates, as well as to manpower hiring and retention.
 
For more information, do reach out to us at +65 6690 9262 or info@3ecpa.com.sg.
 
Grants and Programmes for Your Business (COVID-19 Edition)