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4 Ways the Singapore Budget 2021 Supports Small Businesses

2020 has been a difficult time to navigate, posing challenges and complexities to your SME. With Budget 2021, the Singapore government has put in place new initiatives and measures to help you develop new potential, deal with short-term problems, and embrace the future for long-term growth of all companies in Singapore.

We get that companies are focusing on growing their businesses right now. If you need help with corporate secretarial tasks or outsourcing bookkeeping tasks, you don’t have to do it on your own. Talk to us to find out how we can help. Meanwhile, here’s how the Singapore Budget 2021 can help you according to your business needs.

  1. Immediate Help with Cashflow

The pandemic has had a profound impact on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ access to finance. The Singapore government has introduced financing support to alleviate the cashflow needs of businesses:

Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS)

With $285 million set aside, the Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS) aims to support selected startups with crowd-in private sector investments to sustain innovation and growth momentum during the pandemic.

Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS)

The Enterprise Financing Scheme supports your business at various growth stages to access financing over six different areas including working capital, venture debt, fixed assets, projects, trade, and mergers & acquisitions. Young businesses can also gain stronger support from this scheme.

Wage Credit Scheme

The Wage Credit Scheme will be extended by a year, at a co-funding level of 15%. This is to support the employment of locals and provide co-funding of wage increments for Singaporean employees drawing a gross monthly wage of up to $5,000.

  1. Extend Financing with Credit

If you require further support to expand your business, here are some schemes that you can consider:

Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI)

If you’re looking to hire Singaporean jobseekers, this 12-month salary support scheme will help to retain your existing employees and support your hiring needs. Initially set to end in February 2021, the JGI was allocated a $5.2 billion budget with an extended hiring window to end-September 2021. This will support new employees under the age of 40 with wages up to 12 months. For hires aged 40 and above, who are ex-offenders or disabled, the salary cap will be increased to $6,000, which is also applicable to previously hired employees. As for new employees below the age of 40, the salary cap is $5,000.

Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan (EFS-TL)

This scheme was previously known as the Loan Insurance Scheme Plus and supports you when you need financing for trading. Enhanced in April 2020, this scheme adjusted its maximum loan quantum from $5 million to $10 million and increased Government risk-share from 80% to 90%.

Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan (EFS-PL)

From now to 31 Mar 2022, the Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan (EFS-PL) supports project loans for domestic construction projects, as well as overseas projects, with a maximum loan capacity of $30 million and the Government's risk-share of loans up to 70%.

Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was first introduced in Budget 2020 to help you protect jobs and keep your employees hired during this period of economic uncertainty by subsidising salaries for employees working in sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Singapore Government assistance will co-fund a percentage of your gross wages, and businesses will be able to retain their local workers.

The JSS was supposed to end in March 2021 but has been extended for firms in Tier 1 and 2 sectors by up to six months, including wages paid up to September 2021.

Tier Current April to June 2021 July

Tier 1

(Aerospace, Aviation, and Tourism)
50% 30% 10%

Tier 2

(e.g. Food Services, Marine & Offshore, Retail and Arts and Entertainment)
30% 10% -

Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP)

Introduced in Budget 2020, the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) provides businesses with additional working capital. This scheme has been extended for an additional 6 months, from 1 April to 30 September 2021.

The current maximum loan limit is $5 million till 31 March 2021 and will be decreased to $3 million from 1 April to 30 September 2021. Similarly, the Government's risk-share of loans will also be decreased from 90% to 70% respectively.

  1. Extend Financing with Credit

Building capabilities that change workforce behaviours can be challenging, and COVID-19 has only provided more obstacles. Here is what Budget 2021 has to offer:

Support for Job Redesign under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG-JR)

Receive up to 80% funding support to collaborate with pre-approved Job Redesigned (JR) consultants to redesign tasks, work processes, responsibilities and duties to meet your business transformation needs. This scheme will be extended to 31 Mar 2022The platform and is capped at $30,000 per company, for approved projects.

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

Grow and transform your business with projects in 3 key areas including innovation and productivity, core capabilities and internationalisation. This enhanced support scheme covers up to 80% of qualifying costs and has been extended to 31 Mar 2022.

SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative (SkillsFuture LDI)

Under this scheme, you can develop or improve the leadership potential of your Singaporean employees through development programmes including cross-functional rotations and overseas assignments.

Enterprise Leadership for Transformation (ELT)

Enterprise Leadership for Transformation (ELT) offers growth for the leaders in your company with business coaching in developing a business growth plan and structured modular training in business growth capabilities. Access a network of alumni for collaboration and peer learning, delivered by partners including financial institutions, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and industry experts.

Capability Transfer Programme

The Capability Transfer Programme provides funding support for enterprises to do the following:

  • bring foreign professionals into Singapore to coach their local employees in new capabilities on a time-limited basis
  • send Singaporean trainees for overseas training attachments to attain new capabilities
  • support Singaporean professionals (who were previously coached by foreign professionals or trained overseas) conducting capability transfer training for Singaporeans

This programme has also been extended to end-September 2024, in support of local-foreign skills transfer.

  1. Deepen Capabilities for Future Transformation

If you're thinking of internationalisation, get a head start with support to leverage digital channels to reach out to the overseas markets to test their response. To enhance your e-commerce capabilities, you can also receive support and training, and tap on Enterprise Singapore's in-market presence available at more than 35 international locations for new business leads, sourcing business partners and getting new technologies and capabilities.

Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT)

Train and strengthen your Singaporean employees' in-market knowledge through internships and overseas work opportunities. Groom your employees to support your business expansion plans both in Singapore and overseas by creating exposure for them to navigate challenges in the overseas markets.

Global Innovation Alliance (GIA)

This enhanced scheme allows you to acquire access to an improved network of overseas partners for market expansion and co-innovation, including ESG's co-innovation programmes (CIPs), which are cross-border platforms that link Singapore-based businesses with overseas partners.

Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation (DTDi)

Under this scheme, you are allowed a 200% tax deduction on investment development expenses and qualifying market expansion, subject to Enterprise Singapore or Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) approval.

For tax deduction on the first $150,000 of qualifying expenses incurred on automatic Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation activities, prior approval is not required from Enterprise Singapore or STB.

Open Innovation Platform (OIP)

Provides a structured process to support businesses and Trade Associations & Chambers in identifying possible areas of digital innovation and matching them with solution providers. The OIP has been enhanced with new features to enable better matching, testing and development.

Corporate Venture Launchpad

Piloted this year, the Corporate Venture Launchpad aims to drive new innovative ventures, by providing co-funding for businesses to build new operations through pre-qualified venture studios.

Emerge Stronger


Focus your energy on growing your business, so your company can emerge stronger. Leave your accounting woes to us, because we know that preparing financial statements yourself is a pain in the neck. We do affordable online accounting for busy founders, with a human expert who has your back 24/7, even late nights and on weekends.

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