DBS rolls out support measures for small business owners

Micro and small enterprises prioritise protecting employees’ livelihoods but many need more support, according to a survey by DBS Bank. So it has rolled out new measures to help these business owners stay afloat.

About six in 10 micro and small enterprises polled in the DBS SME Pulse Check Survey cited responsibility for protecting employee livelihoods as the main motivation for sustaining their businesses. More than half have tapped personal savings and assets to do so.

Also, four in 10 respondents said their mental and physical well-being had taken a blow.

The survey, done at the start of the year, polled over 200 enterprises across various industries.

Ms Joyce Tee, group head of SME banking at DBS, said: “With the economic situation and road ahead still uncertain, business owners must be ready for a long fight, and will need to take care of themselves to avoid burning out.”

DBS will extend complimentary access to an app that helps manage workplace stress, as well as webinars giving tips for mental well-being. It also plans to run webinars on financial planning strategies and tools, such as DBS NAV Planner, the bank’s digital retirement financial planning solution.

Businesses are focusing on ensuring sufficient cash flow and manpower while also pivoting to new income streams. To meet these goals, more than four in 10 business owners have expressed a desire for more government measures that support their working capital needs, while over three in 10 would like more wage support.

These businesses are also looking to banks for working capital support, connectivity opportunities and help to become more sustainable, which Ms Tee said is a move towards growth beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

According to DBS, the bank approved over 10,000 collateral-free loans totalling more than $5 billion to SMEs in Singapore last year, over 90 per cent of which went to micro and small enterprises.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2021, with the headline 'DBS rolls out support measures for small business owners'. Subscribe