Parliament: Over 650 firms have taken working capital loans from financial institutions as of end-March, says Chee Hong Tat

SINGAPORE – A total of 662 companies have taken working capital loans from participating financial institutions as of end-March.

Almost 90 per cent of them, or 575 companies, are micro and small enterprises, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat in Parliament on Monday (April 6).

He was replying to Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson), who asked for the number of enterprises that have taken the SME working capital loan since the Support and Stabilisation package was implemented and how the Government can help these businesses improve their cash flow.

The enhanced Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan Programme, which helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in all industries access financing for cash flow, was announced in Budget 2020 in February and took effect on March 2.

The Government will provide further support for enterprises’ working capital needs as part of the $48 billion Resilience Budget which was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on March 26, Mr Chee added.

He highlighted that businesses can also tap other measures unveiled during the Budget speech in February and last month’s Supplementary Budget to manage their cash flow.

These include the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme which has been expanded to all sectors, corporate income tax rebates, and the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme.

Additional help for businesses have also been announced.

On March 31, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), along with banks, finance companies and insurers, announced measures to help enterprises with their cash flow.

The new Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill being tabled will also provide relief to SMEs, which have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, Mr Chee added.

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