By Navisteps

Published February 17, 2021

Expense Management | Singapore

44 initiatives for businesses in Singapore 2021

As most of us should already know, our Singapore government has pushed for grants, schemes, loans and programmes to bolster the local economy and help businesses tide through COVID-19. Previously with $33b set aside in the Fortitude Budget, the Government had dedicated close to $100 billion to support Singaporeans in this battle against COVID-19. In an update from the Budget 2021 speech, at least another S$$11 billion have been allocated to better support businesses and the economy.

To kickstart and smoothen your business journey, Navisteps’ is providing an affordable cloud expense management solution! The online digital platform features smart spending policies, expense claims management, automated expense tracking, reimbursement management, complete analytics and accounting integrations, and more. Businesses can start managing their expenses here so that we can take care of pre-accounting processes while you focus on other important business efforts.

We have also collated a list of Singapore grants, schemes, loans and programmes that you might be interested in applying for to reduce your business expense and boost productivity in the next few years!

For more information on each of the following initiatives, please click on the individual header link.


1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. This grant supports projects that help you upgrade your business, innovate or venture overseas, under three pillars: Core Capabilities, Innovation and Productivity, Market Access.

The grant funds qualifying project expenses, namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower expenses.

As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, the maximum support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

For enterprises that are most severely impacted by COVID-19, the maximum support level may be raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis until 31 December 2020.

2. Land Productivity Grant (LPG)

Companies that are interested to optimise land use through domestic or overseas relocation can tap on the Land Productivity Grant (LPG) to defray part of the initial expense arising from the relocation. The supportable expense components would be one-time, non-capital expenses related to the relocation.

Funding support for approved projects will be between 10% and 70% of the qualifying expenses and is dependent on the amount of land freed up and the remaining lease term

Qualifying expenses include:

  • Relocation expenses (i.e. physical movement of existing plant & machinery to a new site. Exclude expense of asset acquisition in equipment, machinery, land, building and taxes and levies paid to foreign or local government).
  • Third-party consultancy fees for market and location feasibility studies as well as workflow redesign.
  • Manpower expense of project manager or Singapore-based staff posted to the overseas site to oversee training of local labour and new facility setup.

Supportable activities:

  • Domestic relocation

Restructuring of the production model and relocation of existing operations from a land-based facility to a high-rise one or another land-based development locally with a smaller footprint.

  • Immediate region relocation

Partial restructuring of business activities to Iskandar Malaysia and/or Batam, Bintan and Karimun in Indonesia (IM-BBK).

3. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive an international boost with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to help take your business overseas. Companies can look forward to support for in-depth FTA consultancy and overseas business development. 

To support more local companies to go overseas, the grant will be enhanced:

  • Removal of the cap on two applications per company per year.
  • Grant cap will be increased from S$20,000 per year, to S$100,000 per new country over three years.
  • 70% support level will be extended by three years to 31 March 2023.
  • Maximum support level will be raised from 70% to 80% from 1 November 2020 to 30 September 2021.
  • Programme will extend support to include businesses’ participation in virtual trade fairs.

4. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports companies keen on adopting IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes.

PSG covers sector-specific solutions including the retail, food, logistics, precision engineering, construction and landscaping industries. Other than sector-specific solutions, PSG also supports the adoption of solutions that cut across industries, such as in areas of customer management, data analytics, financial management and inventory tracking.

As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, PSG will be enhanced to encourage enterprises to continue their digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts. The maximum funding support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

5. Rental Relief Framework

$2 billion in cash grants will help SME tenants with rental expenses. Including the property tax rebate for 2020, the Government will:

  • Offset another 2 months’ rental for qualifying SME tenants of commercial properties;
  • Offset 1 months’ rental for qualifying SME tenants of industrial and office properties.

There will also be additional rental waivers for commercial and other non-residential tenants of Government properties – including stall holders of hawker centres and markets, tenants of commercial buildings and industrial, office and agricultural tenants.

Qualifying property owners who will receive support via a Government cash grant must in turn provide the necessary rental relief to their eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) and specified Non-Profit Organisations tenant-occupiers of the prescribed properties under the Rental Relief Framework.

Under the Rental Relief Framework, which comprises the Rental Relief and the Additional Rental Relief, the applicable rent and any interest payable on the rent are waived for the applicable months, depending on the eligibility of the tenants for Rental Relief and Additional Rental Relief.

The landlords/intermediary landlords (i.e. lessors who sublet their leased properties) can offset the following against the above rental waiver obligations:

  • Monetary payments or reduction in rent due under the leases or licensing agreements which they have extended to their tenants;
  • Any benefit of the Property Tax Rebate (referred to as “PT Rebate benefit”) that has been passed on or is obliged to be passed on by the property owners to their tenants.

6. Startup SG Tech

The Startup SG Tech grant fast-tracks the development of proprietary technology solutions, and catalyses the growth of startups based on proprietary technology and a scalable business model.

Through Startup SG Tech, companies may receive early-stage funding for the commercialisation of proprietary technology.

For applications received from 1 August 2017, the grants will be awarded upon the completion of each milestone; unlike previously by reimbursement. The grant will also carry an equity component where Enterprise Singapore will have the rights to exercise a share subscription. This is to cultivate greater financial discipline and a growth-oriented mindset that is consistent among venture-backed startups.

7. Sports Resilience Package

The Sports Resilience Package aims to support critical players in the sports ecosystem, to preserve core capabilities in athlete pathways and pipeline development, as well as to catalyse the industry to provide innovative sports formats for Singaporeans to continue to stay active.

The Operating Grant will provide additional support for more than 100 entities including private academies and clubs, private league operators and facility operators who contribute to athlete pipeline development. Eligible entities will receive an equivalent of about 25% of their total operating expenses, capped at $15,000 per month, from now till Mar 2021

Self-employed professionals, freelance coaches as well as businesses may apply for the Digital Content Development Grant, which aims to enhance the quality of digital sports productions and expand their reach through hosting content on the ActiveSG Circle virtual platform. Successful grant applicants will be able to use the Circle as a testbed to enhance their business models and contribute to the sporting ecosystem. The Grant is expected to support up to 30 projects.

Under the latest 2021 Budget, an additional $50 million has been set aside for SRP and the package will be extended.

8. Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) Operating Grant

MCCY will be providing a one-off Operating Grant under the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) to support arts and culture organisations, and those in closely-related sectors. 

The Operating Grant will complement existing support schemes and grants to help organisations defray their operating costs, in order to safeguard key capabilities as well as livelihoods. The Operating Grant will also help our cultural and creative practitioners be better positioned to seize opportunities as we progressively resume activities in the arts and culture sector, and enable organisations to continue to generate work opportunities for freelancers they typically engage.

Eligible arts and culture organisations will receive a one-off ACRP Operating Grant of either $75,000 or $50,000, based on the size of their organisations. This grant is expected to benefit over 300 organisations.

Under the latest 2021 Budget update, the ACRP will be extended this year and a total of $55 million will be set aside. 


1. Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA)

The Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) is a one-time scheme in support of artists and arts organisations during the downtime caused by the COVID-19 situation. The CDSA is available for a limited period to support arts self-employed persons and employees of arts organisations to upskill and grow capabilities through training programmes that take place in Singapore.

Under the latest 2021 Budget, the package will provide support for cultural organisations and practitioners until the end of the year.

2. Digital Resilience Bonus

The Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB) aims to uplift the digital capabilities of a broad base of enterprises. For a start, DRB will be targeted at the Food Services and Retail sectors which are more affected by safe distancing requirements in the reopening of the economy.

The DRB is given on top of enhanced digitalisation assistance provided under the SMEs Go Digital programme. Food Services and Retail enterprises that have PayNow Corporate accounts without suffix, e-invoicing, and use pre-defined categories of digital solutions for Business Processes, Digital Presence and Data Mining and Analytics can receive bonus payouts of up to $10,000. Download the DRB e-brochure here.

3. Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan

The Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan aims to finance the fulfillment of secured overseas projects. The Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan (EFS – PL) will be enhanced from 1 January 2021 until 31 March 2022 to support domestic projects for construction companies.

The supportable loan types include:

  • Working Capital Loan
  • Factory/ Building/ Land (includes Purchase/ Renovation/ Construction)
  • Equipment/ Machineries/ Vessels/ Other Fixed Assets/ Machinery Hire Purchase
  • Guarantees

Maximum Loan Quantum

  • S$50 Million / borrower group for overseas projects
  • S$30 Million / borrower group for domestic projects

Note: Overall loan exposure limit of S$50 million per borrower group across all facilities.

Maximum Repayment Period

  • Up to 15 years for Fixed Asset loans
  • Up to 5 years for Working Capital Loan and Guarantee

There must be an underlying contract, secured sales order and/or projects tied to the fixed asset, working capital loan and guarantee.

4. Freezing of Government Fees and Charges

There will be no increases in government fees and charges from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Generally, all fees and charges imposed by Ministries, Organs of State, and Statutory Boards will not be increased.

  •  For individuals, some examples are school fees (including polytechnics and ITEs), HDB carpark charges, HDB flat application fees, passport renewal fees, and administrative fees for retrieving government records or documents (e.g. CPF, IRAS).
  •  For businesses, some examples are LTA and STB licence fees, SFA food import permits, ACRA company registration fees, NEA inspection fees, and fees for certification of government documents.

If you have any questions on specific fees and charges, please approach the relevant government agencies.

5. Job Support Scheme (JSS)

Under JSS, which was first introduced in the Budget 2020 statement last February, the Government co-funds 25% to 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee in a 10-month period (up to Aug 2020) and 10% to 50% of the same in the subsequent 7-month period (Sep 2020 to Mar 2021). In this latest extension of the scheme, the Government will put in another S$700 million to cover wages up to March 2021.

The payout differs for firms in different tiers. Firms in Tier 1 sectors – aviation, aerospace and tourism – will get a six-month extension for the JSS. These firms will get 30 percent support for wages paid from April to June this year, and 10 percent support for wages paid from July to September.

Firms in Tier 2 sectors – such as retail, food services, arts and culture, and marine and offshore – will get wage support of 10 per cent for three more months, covering wages paid up to June.

But there will be no changes for firms in Tier 3A sectors, and the JSS will cover 10 percent of wages up to March 2021 for firms in these sectors, as previously announced.

6. Job Growth Initiative (JGI)

The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) supports employers to accelerate their hiring of local workforce1 over the next six months, from September 2020 to February 2021 (inclusive), so as to create good and long-term jobs for locals.

The JGI will provide one year of salary support for each new local hire by employers that managed to increase their local workforce from September 2020 to February 2021 (inclusive).

The support is 25% (or 50% for mature local hires aged 40 and above, all persons with disabilities (PwDs) or ex-offenders) of the first $5,000 of gross monthly wages paid to all new local hire).

Government support will be for 12 months from the month of hire, if employers continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

7. Political Risk Insurance Scheme (PRIS)

Political risks insurance (PRI) is an important tool for companies to safeguard their projects and/or investments in overseas markets against political uncertainties.

Companies can also use PRI to unlock access to mid to long-term financing as it gives lenders additional assurance that the impact of political uncertainties over the performance of a project or investment has been mitigated.

With the Political Risk Insurance Scheme (PRIS), qualifying Singapore companies can receive premium support for PRI policies. Enterprise Singapore will support 50% of the premium for up to the first three years of each PRI policy. This is subject to a maximum amount of S$500,000 per qualifying Singapore-based company.

A typical PRI policy covers risks such as:

  • Expropriation
  • Currency inconvertibility and transfer restrictions
  • Political violence
  • Breach of contract by host government
  • Non-honouring of sovereign financial obligations

8. SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) encourages employers to invest in enterprise transformation and capabilities of their employees. Eligible employers will receive a one-off S$10,000 credit to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses on qualifying expenses for supportable initiatives, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) supports:

  • Enterprise Transformation

Programmes that support enterprise transformation.

  • Workforce Transformation

Job redesign initiatives, and curated training programmes by SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, such as training courses aligned to the Skills Framework, Professional Conversion Programmes and sector-specific programmes.

9. Startup SG Equity

The Startup SG Equity scheme aims to stimulate private sector investments into innovative, Singapore-based technology startups with intellectual property and global market potential.

As part of the Startup SG Equity scheme, the government will:

(i) Co-invest with independent, qualified third party investors into eligible startups; and

(ii) Invest in selected venture capital firms that will in turn invest into eligible startups, through a fund-of-funds approach.

SEEDS Capital and SGInnovate have been appointed to manage the co- investment modality under Startup SG Equity.

EDBI has been appointed to manage the fund-of-funds modality under Startup SG Equity.

Under the co-investment modality, Startup SG Equity has different investment parameters for general tech and deep tech startups.

10. Startup SG Founder Scheme (Enhanced)

The enhanced Startup SG Founder scheme will comprise of two tracks: The Startup SG Founder “Train” track (a new track), and the Startup SG Founder “Start” track (enhanced from the existing SSGF scheme).

Startup SG Founder Train Track

For the “Train” track, Enterprise Singapore has appointed Venture Builder and Accredited Mentor Partners ('VB-AMPs') with strong track records of venture building to provide 3-month Venture Building (VB) programmes to Singaporeans. The programme will provide support for sourcing innovation, commercialising these ideas into scalable businesses, getting product/solution validation from customers and finding capital.

Startup SG Founder Start Track

For the “Start” track, teams of entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas can approach any Enterprise Singapore-appointed Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) with their innovative business ideas. The AMPs will identify and recommend qualifying applicants for funding support based on the uniqueness of business concept, feasibility of business model, strength of management team, and potential market value. Upon successful application, the AMP will assist the startups with advice, learning programs and networking contacts. Enterprise Singapore will also provide the startups with a startup capital grant of $50,000. Startups are required to raise and commit S$10,000 as a co-matching fund to the grant.

11. Trade Credit Insurance Scheme (TCIS)

Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) is an insurance protection that your company can purchase to protect itself against non-payment by your buyers, allowing you to acquire new customers with greater confidence.

The Trade Credit Insurance Scheme (TCIS) defrays the expense of insurance for companies by supporting part of the minimum premium payable.


1. Career Trial for Employers

Employers can assess jobseekers’ job fit through a short-term trial before offering employment paying at least $1,500/month for full time position, and $750/month for part-time position or more, to suitable Singapore Citizens.

To help Singaporean jobseekers try out more jobs, including part-time work, the Career Trial scheme has been expanded to include part time jobs offered by employers. This will take effect from 15 May 2019.

2. Innovation and Enterprise Fellowship Programme

The Innovation and Enterprise Fellowship programme aims to groom leaders in innovation and enterprise as Singapore heads into a more technologically-intensive and innovation-driven economy.

More details will be provided soon.

3. Professional Conversion Programmes

The Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) assist enterprises by facilitating placements of mid-career PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) into new job roles through reskilling.

Enterprises will gain a wider pool of candidates to consider when hiring.

  • Redeploy existing workforce as part of business transformation
  • Minimise redundancies and reskill experienced employees to take on new job roles
  • Tap on Government funding through Course Fee Grant and Salary Support / Training Allowance
  • Funding & Incentives

The Government will provide up to 90% Salary Support for the training duration and Course Fee Subsidy to enterprises.

4. Rank-and-File Place-and-Train Programmes

The Rank-and-File (RnF) Programmes assist enterprises by providing training and salary support to help individuals in RnF jobs reskill to take on new or enhanced jobs roles.

Enterprises will gain a wider pool of candidates to consider when hiring.

  • Redeploy existing workforce as part of business transformation
  • Minimise redundancies and reskill experienced employees to take on new job roles
  • Tap on Government funding through Course Fee Grant and Salary Support / Training Allowance

The Government will provide up to 90% Salary Support for the training duration and Course Fee Subsidy to enterprises.

5. Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Programme (Closing on 25 Feb 2021)

Singapore companies keen to embark on joint R&D collaboration with Israeli companies can now receive support through the Singapore Israel Industrial R&D Programme (SIIRD).

SIIRD is a co-operation between Enterprise Singapore and the Israel Innovation Authority to promote, facilitate and support joint R&D collaboration between Singapore and Israeli companies across different industries. Joint projects between Singapore and Israeli companies should involve the development of new or enhanced products and technology with strong market potential.

The next call for proposals will open from 1 December 2020 to 25 February 2021. For more information regarding the programme guidelines and application process, please visit

6. SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) Programme

STEER will support funds set up by the Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) or industry groupings, with the aim of helping businesses tide over the challenges arising from COVID-19, and to push on with transformation efforts in preparation for the economic recovery. From 1 April 2020, Enterprise Singapore will match S$1 for every S$2 raised by such industry-led initiatives, up to S$1 million per fund (previously it was matching $1 for every $4 raised).

Upon qualifying for STEER, TACs and industry groupings will need to use the funds within 18 months.

Examples of what the funds can be used for:

• Business Sustenance – Grants to cope with the current economic situation, such as working capital, rental support, wage support, and crisis management expenses;

• Business Growth – Grants to position businesses for continued growth through and beyond the crisis, such as support for marketing expenses, market diversification efforts, and branding & design expenses; and

• Capability Upgrading – Grants for businesses to continue upgrading their capabilities, such as training support, reskilling of workers, purchase of productivity solutions, and business process improvements.

Valid from 3 March 2020 to 2 March 2021.

7. SGUnited Traineeships Programme

The SGUnited Traineeships programme aims to provide up to 21,000 traineeship opportunities to those who have recently graduated or will soon be graduating in 2019 and 2020. This will help them develop industry-relevant skills, notwithstanding the current economic climate, and boost their employability in preparation for the eventual recovery. By participating in the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, host organisations can gain access to a pool of fresh talent and be able to recruit experienced trainees when hiring picks up.

Organisations can come onboard as host organisations to bring in new graduates as trainees to support their business needs and will be able to tap on government support during the traineeship period in preparation of the economic recovery.

The monthly training allowance provided to each trainee may vary depending on the Traineeship Scope, based on the traineeship requirements. The Government will co-fund 80% of the training allowance.

The traineeship scheme has been extended to Mar 2022 under the 2021 Budget.

8. SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme

The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme was introduced to provide mid-career individuals with traineeships and training opportunities at companies and public sector agencies. 

Under the “Company Attachment” track, the Government will fund 80% of the training allowance, while the host organisation funds the remaining 20% for the programme duration. The monthly training allowance provided may vary depending on the scope of the attachment. 

9. Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP)

The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) provides access to working capital for business needs.

Maximum Loan Quantum

  • To 31 March 2021: S$5 Million / Borrower Group
  • From 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021: S$3 Million / Borrower Group

Maximum Repayment Period

  • 5 years


  • To 31 March 2021: Risk share is at 90%
  • From 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021: Risk share is at 70%

The borrower is responsible to repay 100% of the loan amount. When defaults occur, the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) are obligated to follow their standard commercial recovery procedure, including the realisation of security, before they can make a claim against Enterprise Singapore for the unrecovered amount in proportion to the risk-share.

Interest Rate

  • Capped at 5% p.a.

Possible Upcoming Programmes

Here are a few programmes that have closed its application call in but they may possibly open another round of applications in 2021 so do keep a lookout for it.  These programmes are useful for companies who wish to expand internationally and did the network and support to do so!

1. EUREKA GlobalStars-Singapore Call

Singapore companies can now receive support in the facilitation of and funding for joint innovation projects with companies from 14 EUREKA countries.

Singapore, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and Ukraine have announced a joint call for innovation projects to support cross-border collaboration on technology development, through which our companies can further develop their innovation capabilities and accelerate their internationalisation efforts.

This call is open to all sectors, and projects should result in a new market-ready product or solution. Project consortiums must include at least one company from Singapore, and one entity from any one of the EUREKA countries participating in the call.

2. Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme 

Singapore companies keen to embark on joint-innovation projects with German companies can receive support by participating in a joint call for proposals for Germany-Singapore technological R&D projects.

The Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme (GSFP) is jointly administered by Enterprise Singapore and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to provide access to public funding for jointly selected projects. The programme aims to encourage the development of ready-to-market solutions for products, technology-based services or processes that have strong market potential for Germany, Singapore or the international market.

3. Singapore-France Joint Innovation Call 

Singapore companies keen to embark on joint innovation projects with French companies can now receive support by participating in a joint call for proposals for Singapore-France technological R&D projects.

Enterprise Singapore and Bpifrance will provide access to public funding for jointly selected projects. The programme aims to encourage the development of ready-to-market solutions for products, technology-based services or methods that have strong potential for the French, Singapore or international market.

4. Singapore-Shanghai Joint Innovation Call 

Singapore companies keen to embark on joint innovation projects with Shanghai-based companies can now receive support by participating in a joint call for proposals for Singapore-Shanghai technological R&D projects.

The Singapore-Shanghai Joint Innovation Call is implemented by Enterprise Singapore and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (SCTSM). They are looking for projects that result in the research and development of innovative products and applications, with the end goal of commercialisation. Key focal sectors include biopharmaceutical and life sciences, smart cities development, as well as urban solutions and sustainability.

The call for proposals is open to all technological and application areas, with a focus on biopharmaceutical & life sciences, smart cities development, and urban solutions & sustainability


1. Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan (EFS WCL)

Through the SME Working Capital Loan, SMEs will receive greater financing support to bridge their working capital gaps.

Maximum Loan Quantum

  • S$1 million / borrower

Note: Overall loan exposure limit of S$50 million per borrower group across all areas.

Maximum Repayment Period

  • 5 years


  • Risk share is at 90%

The borrower is responsible to repay 100% of the loan amount. When defaults occur, the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) are obligated to follow their standard commercial recovery procedure, including the realisation of security, before they can make a claim against Enterprise Singapore for the unrecovered amount in proportion to the risk-share.

Interest Rate

  • Subject to PFIs’ assessment of risks involved.

2. Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan (EFS TL)

The trade loan covers enterprises’ domestic and overseas transactions. It also complements the current Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) by insuring loans which are beyond the capacity of current LIS insurers.

The enhanced EFS-Trade Loan will be extended for 6 months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

Maximum Loan Quantum

  • S$10 million / borrower group
  • Note: Overall loan exposure limit of S$50 million per borrower group across all areas.

Maximum Repayment Period

  • 1 year


  • To 31 March 2021: Risk share is at 90%
  • From 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021: Risk share is at 70%

The borrower is responsible to repay 100% of the loan amount. When defaults occur, the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) are obligated to follow their standard commercial recovery procedure, including the realisation of security, before they can make a claim against Enterprise Singapore for the unrecovered amount in proportion to the risk-share. 

Interest Rate

  • Subject to PFIs’ assessment of risks involved.

3. Internationalisation Finance Scheme (IFS) - Non-Recourse

Mid-sized companies can access up to S$50 million in project financing for local and overseas development projects with the Internationalisation Finance Scheme for Non-Recourse (IFS-NR).

Enterprise Singapore co-shares default risks with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to look beyond the borrowers’ balance sheet and instead rely on project income streams when extending project finance loans.

4. Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS)

Enterprises can secure short-term trade financing loans via the Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) from Participating Financial Institutions (PFI).

Loans are insured by commercial insurers which co-share loan default with the PFI in the event of enterprise insolvency. A portion of the insurance premium is supported by the Government. As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, support for the LIS insurance premium will be increased to 80% (from 50%) until 31 March 2021.

Enterprises can apply for the LIS to secure short-term trade financing for the purpose of:

  • Inventory/ stock financing facility
  • Structured pre-delivery working capital
  • Factoring/ bill or invoice or accounts receivable discounting with recourse
  • Overseas Working Capital Loan
  • Banker's Guarantee

5. Startup SG Loan

The Startup SG Loan pillar highlights Government-backed loans that take into account young enterprises on the trajectory to catalyse their growth opportunities.  Launched on 29 October 2019, the Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) streamlined existing financing schemes and extended the support given to young companies. Both the SME Working Capital Loan and Trade Loan will be enhanced for a year, until 31 March 2021.

The 6 key areas covered under the EFS are:

  1. Enhanced SME Working cash flow needs
  2. SME Fixed Assets
  3. Venture Debt
  4. Enhanced Trade Loan
  5. Project Financing
  6. Mergers & Acquisitions


1. Business Improvement Fund (BIF)

The Business Improvement Fund (BIF) aims to encourage technology innovation and adoption, redesign of business models and processes in the tourism sector to improve productivity and competitiveness.

​Aligned to Enterprise Singapore's Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), the BIF supports projects that help tourism companies to upgrade the business or innovate, under two pillars: Core Capabilities and Innovation & Productivity

2. Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS)

EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Economic Development Board, and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, will administer the S$285 million Special Situation Fund for Startups to provide financing support for promising startups based in Singapore. 

Under this scheme, EDBI and SEEDS Capital will invest in selected startups with private sector co-investors on a 1:1 basis. The scheme, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Fortitude Budget speech on 26 May 2020, will provide time-limited funding support to help high-potential startups sustain their growth momentum despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme will end when the funds are fully committed or by 31 October 2021, whichever is earlier.

Sector-specific Initiatives

This section comprises of a list of initiatives that are industry-specific and are not sector-agnostic 

1. Aviation - Aviation Development Fund 

The Aviation Development Fund (ADF) is one of the key initiatives that supports the development and growth of the aviation industry in Singapore. The ADF focuses on the following areas:

  • Airport Productivity for Long-term Manpower Sufficiency
  • Innovation to Drive Development of New Capabilities
  • Manpower Development for Higher-skilled Jobs

2. Fintech - COVID-19 Support Package for FinTechs 

MAS announced a $125 Million support package on 8 April 2020 for the financial and FinTech sectors to deal with the immediate challenges from COVID-19 and position strongly for the recovery and future growth. The measures will support our workers, enhance operational readiness and resilience, accelerate digitalisation and boost capabilities across the sectors. 

MAS jointly launched a S$6 million MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant on 13 May 2020 to help Singapore-based FinTech firms maintain their operations and retain their employees, as well as enable them to continue to innovate in partnership with financial institutions and create opportunities for growth

Support for Manpower expenses:

S$15 allowance per hour of training for each local employee attending IBF courses. 

Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) provides 75% wage subsidy for the first $4,600 of April and May salaries (and 25% for subsequent months). Find out more.

MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant - Business Sustenance Grant (BSG) provides wage support up to $2,000/month for every local employee including founders and directors, on top of the JSS, up to a total BSG grant cap of S$20,000. Find out more.

SGUnited Traineeships Programme provides 80% co-funding of training allowance for recent graduates from ITE, Polytechnics and Universities. Startup Talent Factory offers up to $12,000 salary subsidy grant for new and existing poly grad hires.

Support for Operational expenses:

APIX is providing all Singapore-based FinTechs with 6 months of free access to APIX. APIX provides a digital platform for sales engagement with financial institutions globally.

  • FinTech Self-Assessment Tool (coming soon)

MAS will work with the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) to set up a new digital self-assessment framework for MAS’ Outsourcing and TRM Guidelines hosted on APIX. Completing the self-assessment will help FinTech firms provide a first-level assurance to FIs about the quality of their solutions. More information will be out soon.

Smaller FIs can tap on the Digital Acceleration Grant to adopt FinTech solutions through the Institution Projects Track and Industry Pilots Track. 

Support for Proof-of-Concept (POC):

As part of the MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant, FinTechs can receive up to S$40,000 for their first POC with financial institutions on APIX, and S$10,000 for each subsequent POC, subject to a total cap of $80,000 per firm for the entire duration of the grant. 

100% funding of salaries of Singaporean/PR undergraduate interns involved in the implementation of the POCs, capped at $1,000/month per intern.

70% funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector. 

3. Food Services (F&B) and Retail - Digital Resilience Bonus 

The Digital Resilience Bonus provides additional support to enterprises seeking to uplift their digital capabilities to adapt to safe management practices after the circuit breaker period. As a pilot, the Bonus will be targeted at the Food Services and Retail sectors. There is a greater urgency for these sectors to digitalise and adapt quickly due to the consumer-facing nature of their businesses.

Food Services and Retail enterprises that adopt predefined categories of digital solutions can receive bonus payouts of up to $10,000 to offset the expense of adoption.

4. Marine And Process - Sectoral Support Package 

The Marine and Process Support Package help firms defray expenses associated with transiting to new work practices and workplace environments that are more COVID-Safe. 

It comprises three different support schemes: COVID-Safe Firm-level Support, COVID-Safe Site-based Support and Productive Safe Restart Scheme.

5. Wholesale Trade - Global Trader Programme

The Global Trader Programme (GTP) provides a reduced corporate tax rate of 5% or 10% on qualifying trading income for three or five years. Qualifying trading income includes income from physical trading, brokering of physical trades, derivative trading income, and income from structured commodity financing activities, treasury activities and advisory services in relation to mergers and acquisitions.

Building a supportive business environment together

With the COVID-19 vaccines rolling out nationwide and the implementation of precautionary measures to enhance our safety, let’s do our part and support each other during this time of uncertainty!

If we have missed out on any initiatives and resources, or if you are a company or organisation who wish to support businesses during this period, feel free to reach out to us and I will update the list with your offer/initiative in this article too!

At Navisteps, we are a cloud expense management solution company and are also committed to supporting local businesses in its growth and sustainability. If you are a startup or small business, reach out to us and we will see how we can help you with your expense management and accounting process!

*The source link to each initiative has been hyperlinked to each header. For any enquiries about each of the listed initiatives, please contact the relevant organisations accordingly.

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