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Uprise - Business Insights - How Singapore SMEs survive Coronavirus COVID19

How Singapore SMEs survive Coronavirus COVID19

Uprise - 2020/04/20


If your company is experiencing the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. As the coronavirus outbreak has brought Singapore to a one-month partial lockdown, many businesses are facing cancelled projects, delayed payments and a nosedive in revenue. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are bearing more severe burns because of the small size and the lack of resources. In this article, we offer some suggestions on how to keep your business going at this difficult time.

1. Switching to e-commerce

As the pandemic is raging, moving your business online seems to be a good option. People are turning to mobile as they are encouraged or required to stay home to continue working, schooling, be entertained, foster connection and fill the gaps of regular life.

According to App Annie, a global provider of mobile market data, the average time spent in mobile significantly increased over the first 10 weeks of 2020. This is in particular obvious for those lock-downed countries. The daily time spent in mobile in China and Italy jumped 30 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in February 2020 (➡️read the full study). As an entrepreneur, it is wise of you to embrace digital transformation and adopt innovative approaches in response to this new trend.

It is advised to use online channels to sell products, conduct online auctions and even to carry out customer relation-building. For example, grocers can pass tips on how to prepare dishes using their products on live streaming platforms such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Another possibility is to partner with businesses that specialise in delivery fulfilment such as Deliveroo, GoGoVan, Grab and Ninja Van. If you are looking for growth capital to digitalize your business or enhance supply chain to meet surges in demand, please visit: https://uprise.sg/financing/mca

2. Job Support Scheme for employees

The Singapore Government is taking strict precautionary measures to pre-empt escalating COVID-19 infections within the territory. In order to help businesses to keep their workers in downtime, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat promised firms in all sectors will have 75 per cent of their local employees' wages subsidised for the month of April (for more details). Although the Jobs Support Scheme helps employees to minimise their financial hardship during the virus pandemic, it does not apply to employers.

3. Governmental relief measures for SMEs

To help business owners to ease the financial strain caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and banks are releasing relief measures. The authority, together with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the General Insurance Association (GIA), and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), announced a package of measures on 31 Match 2020 to support enterprises caused by COVID-19 (➡️ read MAS' announcement.)

i. Deferred principal payment

If you are a business owner experiencing difficulties to fulfill your contractual obligation owing to COVID-19, the Ministry of Law has introduced a new law that offers you temporary relief from legal action, on a just and equitable basis, for six months (click for more details). If your company has secured term loans, you can reap benefits from new measures allowing SMEs to defer their principal payments for secured loans until the end of the year. Companies may also extend the tenure of their loans up to their corresponding deferment period. These deferments are not automatic. SMEs have to opt in with their respective banks or finance companies in order to benefit from the new measures.

ii. Assistance with insurance premium payment

Corporates, including SMEs, holding general insurance policies that protect their business and property risks may apply to their insurer for instalment payment plans. General insurance companies stand ready to work with their corporate customers so they can pay their premiums in smaller amounts and enjoy coverage for the paid-up period, instead of paying a lump sum premium for the entire policy period at the start.

iii. Low-interest loans

If your firms are looking for immediate monetary relief, you may apply for Temporary Bridging Loans and Enhanced Working Capital loans offered by the Enterprise Singapore (click for more details). The advantage of these government assisted loans is the cost of lending will be lowered further through the availability of MAS’s fundings to banks and finance institutions. You may also consider Enterprise Financing Scheme (click for more details) and Loan Insurance Scheme (click for more details) to meet financial needs.

However, some small businesses may fail to benefit from these loans as their revenues or profits do not meet the application thresholds. New startups may also be disappointed as most banks prefer financing companies with minimum 1 to 2 years of operational history.

4. Alternative financing options

Don’t want your applications being rejected? Company owners may contemplate new financing tools. Uprise provides an alternative financial channel in addition to traditional banking. It is eligible to all SMEs incorporated in Singapore.

The Growth Capital financing we offered provides merchant cash advance to purchase your future credit card and e-payment sales. Our unsecured credit offers a flexible payment schedule according to your business volume. There is no interest – just one fixed fee you know upfront. We also render unsecured small business loans to support small businesses. The application process is simplified and automated through online processor providers or accounting systems. Funding possible in 24 hours, tailored repayment terms and amount for your business (click for more details).

➡️Access up to S$200,000 of business finance from Uprise today!


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Growth Capital

A merchant cash advance to purchase your future credit card and e-payment sales. Flexible payment schedule according to your business volume. There is no interest – just one fixed fee you know upfront.

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Uprise Loan

Unsecured small business loans to support entrepreneurs in a variety of financial situations. A quick and straightforward access to funding to grow your small business.

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A B2B payment and credit platform for SMEs to pay invoices, rents and salaries. Enabling Vendors and Buyers to use credit cards to collect and make payments.

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