Fortitude Budget

$285m for promising start-ups

The $285 million has been allocated to catalyse and match private investments. PHOTO: ST FILE

Promising start-ups will get financial help to bolster their innovation and entrepreneurship activities as well as give them a leg-up to gain access to credit, under new financing measures in the fourth Budget for this year.

A total of $285 million has been allocated to catalyse and match private investments, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament yesterday.

The money will help bridge the financing gap they face amid the Covid-19 crisis, which could result in the loss of good jobs and companies if not addressed, he added.

"It is important to preserve what has been built up in our innovation ecosystem so painstakingly over the years," he said.

Earlier this year, about $300 million had been set aside to help deep-tech start-ups under the Startup SG Equity scheme, in which the Government co-invests with qualified third-party investors in eligible start-ups. Artificial intelligence and alternative proteins are some examples of deep technologies.

Mr Heng also highlighted that loan schemes introduced in the earlier Budgets, like the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, have benefited about 5,000 businesses which have received loans totalling about $4.5 billion so far.

This amounts to more than three times the loans catalysed in the whole of 2019, he noted.

On top of these loan schemes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, plus banks, finance companies and insurers, have introduced relief measures to help individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises to pay for their loans and insurance cover, Mr Heng said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2020, with the headline $285m for promising start-ups. Subscribe