COVID-19: Six Government Grants Your Company Needs To Know 2020

Singapore Government Grants

For updated government support and grants: 7 Government Support and Grants that Help SMEs Stay Afloat

 

At Smart Towkay, we understand that this is a challenging time for many businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As the economy slides into a recession, it may not be as easy to say, “Take a step back, revamp and innovate.” Operation costs, employees’ salaries and rental do not just take a break during this “Circuit Breaker” period. We empathize with all the Towkays out there, that we need some help to ease our cash flow now.

The Government has enhanced financing support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing risk-share to 90% for Enterprise Financing Scheme for Enhanced Working Capital Loan and Temporary Bridging Loan Programmes. Interest rates for borrowing have also dropped to as low as 1.29% per annum (previously around 3.5-4% per annum). However, taking up a business loan right now may take some time as the wait for banks’ approval and funds disbursement is not immediate (nevertheless, do check out your loan eligibility on our website!).

So while waiting for your business loan to be approved, here are 6 important Government Grants that Smart Towkay has consolidated for you.


P.S: We have applied for these grants ourselves too!


1.
Enhanced Work Life Grant (ENDED ON 1ST JUNE 2020)

Enhanced Work Life Grant (WLG) promotes work-life balance in companies by offering an incentive of S$2,000 for every local worker on Flexi-Work Arrangements (FWAs), up to 35 local workers per company. 

During this Covid-19 period, companies only need to place their workers on FWAs for one month, instead of the usual six months to qualify. This means that for companies that have already been implementing remote working or staggered work hours, you only need your workers to continue with the FWAs daily for one month after the “Circuit Breaker” period ends on 1st June 2020.

Please apply for the Enhanced WLG via the SNEF Grant Portal (CLICK HERE) and log in using your Corp Pass. Click on “Apply for a Grant now”, and choose “Enhanced Work-Life Grant”, where it will bring you to the next page where you select “Enhanced Work-Life Grant (COVID-19)”.

Do prepare the following documents before submission:
1. List of Employees whom you will be claiming for (including their full NRICs)
2. Last 3 months of your organization's CPF 90
3. Employee Handbook (optional)


2. Productivity Solutions Grant with Singtel Business Laptop Bundle (ENDED ON 31ST DECEMBER 2020) One of the most popular grants amongst our readers. Once again, Smart Towkay does NOT represent Singtel nor M1, but we will be glad to help with any query. 

In conjunction with the Enhanced WLG, if your company needs to purchase a laptop for your employee to work from home, you may be eligible for up to 80% funding support.

The Business Laptop Bundle under Singtel consists of:

  • Laptop (up to 3 laptops per company, capped at S$1,500 per laptop)
  • Online collaboration (capped at S$13,000) for selected Microsoft Office plans
  • Virtual Meeting (capped at S$3,000) for Singtel BizConference Service

Application process:

  1. Decide on the quantity of purchase and email Singtel with the below information, Singtel will send you with the Quotation & Application Form:
    1. Company name (have to be exact as ACRA registered):
    2. BRN/UEM (have to be exact as ACRA registered):
    3. Quantity to purchase:
  2. Complete the quotations and application forms and return the signed copies to Singtel and your request will be put on waiting list to secure the laptop(s).
  3. Submit your grant request at Business Grant Portal (BGP), using the signed Quotations from Singtel. You will need to register for a CorpPass account to transact on the portal. (Detailed process on how to apply for the grant can be found here: https://www.businessgrants.gov.sg/how_it_works)
  4. Upon receiving your PSG approval, contact Singtel to arrange for delivery, which will take 4-8 weeks. (Note: If you do not have an account with Singtel, kindly submit your latest ACRA.)

For more information, please visit Singtel website: https://www.singtel.com/business/info/psg

You can also fill up the Interest Form here and we will get back to you!

Read also: Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG): Singtel × MacBook Laptop Bundle


3. P-Max Grant

P-Max is a Place-and-Train Programme by Workforce Singapore (WSG) to help SMEs to better recruit, train, manage and retain their newly-hired Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs).

If your company has recently (within the last 3 months) hired a new Singaporean or Permanent Resident (PR) employee who falls under the PMET category, sign up for the P-Max Programme now. PMET must be offered a monthly salary of at least S$2,500. You will be eligible to claim a one-time Assistance Salary Government Grant of S$5,000 if your company successfully retains the PMET for at least 6 months after attending the P-Max workshop. If your newly-hired PMET is a Singaporean aged 50 years and above, you will be eligible for a S$10,000 assistance grant. 

 

The P-Max workshop consists of a 2-day training curriculum, whereby a Supervisor will attend the first day together with the PMET, and the PMET is required to attend both days. Workshops are currently conducted virtually, with available dates on 1st & 3rd February 2021 (Updated). The workshop is 90% subsidized by WSG, and course fees vary depending on the administrator of the programme. (After subsidy, it is approximately S$188, payable by SMEs. For PMETs aged 50 years and above, supervisors will be required to attend an additional 1-day Age Management Workshop at S$50.)

Take advantage of the lull period now to send your supervisor and PMET for training and claim up to S$10,000 Assistance Grant.

Click here to register now!

Read also: COVID-19: 5 Government Initiatives for SMEs Hiring Local Workers 2020


4. Career Support Programme (Ceased for new hires from 1st Sept 2020 onwards)


The Career Support Programme (CSP) is a salary support programme to encourage employers to hire eligible Singapore Citizen PMETs who are a) aged 40 years and above, and has been made redundant or unemployed and actively looking for jobs for 6 months or more, or b) aged below 40 years and has been Unemployed and actively looking for jobs for 6 months or more.


The Covid-19 situation has made it even harder for unemployed individuals, especially those above 40 years old, to look for a job. However, the experience and expertise that these PMETs have should not be overlooked. (CSP can be claimed in conjunction with the P-Max Assistance Grant.)

CSP encourages employers to hire experienced PMETs by providing salary support of up to $42,000. SMEs that employ an eligible PMET and offer a permanent job or an employment contract of at least 12 months with a gross monthly salary of at least $3,600 can apply for CSP.

Salary Support for Singapore Citizen PMET

First 6 months 

of employment

Second 6 months of employment

Third 6 months of employment

≥40 years old unemployed and actively looking for jobs for ≥ 12 months 

50%

30%

20%

≥40 years old unemployed and actively looking for jobs for 6 months to < 12 months OR made redundant

40%

20%

N.A.

unemployed and actively looking for jobs ≥ 6 months

20%

10%

N.A.

Gross monthly salary:

Offering at least S$3,600/month for SME (capped at S$7,000/month)

Offering at least S$4,000/month for Non-SME (capped at S$7,000/month)

 

To apply for the CSP, please click here for the ‘CSP Notification Form’.  You may do so within 3 calendar months from date of work commencement of new hire. 

Please submit the completed form together with the necessary documents through the WSG Feedback Portal using the Organisation Login. Once your registration is verified, an acknowledgement email will be sent to your company.


5. SGUnited Traineeship Programme (Changed to SGUnited MidCareer Pathways Programme)

From 1st June 2020, companies will be able to tap on the new SGUnited Traineeships Programme to hire recent graduates of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, universities and other institutions. This programme aims to boost the employability of this group of graduates. To qualify, trainees must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

Under the programme, traineeships will last for up to 12 months. Trainees will get a monthly training allowance, based on the scope and skills required for the traineeship.

Table showing funding rates for traineeships

(Graphic: Ministry of Manpower and Workforce Singapore)


The Government will fund 80 per cent of the allowance and the trainee’s host company will fund the remainder. Host companies also do not need to make CPF contributions for the trainees. 

The SGUnited Traineeships Programme will commence from 1st June 2020 onwards. Prior to the programme commencement, companies interested to be host companies for traineeships under the programme can fill up this Interest Form. Singapore Business Federation will get in touch with companies on the application process, including submission of detailed Traineeship Descriptions and Development Plans.

 

Read also: SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme: More Than 13,000 Job Attachments Available for Mid-Career Job Seekers and SMEs

 


6. MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant 2020

The S$6 million FinTech Solidarity Grant aims to support Singapore-based FinTech companies amid this challenging business climate caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

To be eligible for the grant, companies have to be registered in Singapore, and a Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) member with a valid SFA FinTech Certificate. 

There are two parts of the grant:

  1. Business Sustenance Grant - To help FinTech companies tide through this COVID-19 period and save jobs (Last Day: 7th June 2020, 2359hrs)
    The overall cap is S$20,000, consisting of:
  • Wage Support: Up to S$2,000 per local staff per month and S$1,000 per intern for 6 months
  • Rental Support: Up to S$4,000 for up to 6 months for office space

  1. Business Growth Grant - To foster the continued growth of Singapore-based FinTech companies and help them offset their POC costs through:
  • 70% of Qualifying Costs: Up to $80,000 for expenses related to POCs/ Projects on APIX Platform
  • 100% of Internship Funding: Up to $20,000 for FinTechs with more than 30 staff, and $10,000 for FinTechs with 30 staff or less

Application begins on 18th May 2020.

For more information, please visit https://singaporefintech.org/mas-sfa-amtd.

For any questions regarding the grant, email to grant@singaporefintech.org. 



None of us knows how long Covid-19 is here to stay, or how much does it take for the economy to recover eventually. All these Government initiatives, as little as it may be, still add up to help many companies in different areas. As we remain hopeful that the situation will improve soon, let us play a part in keeping the community safe even after the “Circuit Breaker” is lifted.


Read also: COVID-19: Smart Towkay's Essential Business Survival Guide for This Pandemic

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UPDATED AS OF 11 Apr 2021
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