Over 660 firms have taken working capital loans

A total of 662 companies have taken working capital loans from participating financial institutions as of the end of last month.

Almost 90 per cent, or 575 companies, are micro and small enterprises, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat in Parliament yesterday.

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 the enterprises' working capital needs as part of the $48 billion Resilience Budget which was announced on March 26, he added.

He highlighted that businesses can also tap other measures unveiled in February's Budget 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 enhanced Jobs Support Scheme.

Additional help for businesses have also been announced.

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

The impending Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill also has plans to provide relief to SMEs hit by the coronavirus crisis, Mr Chee added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2020, with the headline Over 660 firms have taken working capital loans. Subscribe