With the rising inflation rates, the cost of doing business also rises. Businesses need more cash to carry out day-to-day business activities and stay afloat. One of the ways businesses can do this is by using loans to weather these tough times.
One of these options was the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP). This government-assisted financing scheme was geared towards providing SMEs with working capital. It was introduced in the 2020 Budget. However, the scheme ended in September 2022 and was superseded by the SME Working Capital Scheme.
Government Assisted Business Loan Schemes
One of the best things is that various business loan options are available to SMEs in the country. While banks offer options, most businesses lean towards government-assisted business loan schemes. Examples include the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and the SME Working Capital Loan (WCL).
Each government scheme has its parameters, eligibility, and requirements to qualify.
|Loan Amount||$1 million||$500,000|
|Interest Rate||5.5%||Determined by PFIs|
|Loan Tenure||Five years||Five years|
|Deadline||30 September 2022||March 2023|
Temporary Bridging Loan Programme
Note: We see no need to go in-depth about the TBLP programme since it has ended. We only placed it in the table above to make it easy to compare the features of the WCL to its predecessor.
SME Working Capital Loan (WCL)
Enterprise Singapore runs this loan under the Enterprise Fund Scheme, a government-assisted program looking to provide small and medium enterprises with financial loans.
WCL is a great way for organizations to obtain the operating cash flow needed to meet financial obligations and run day-to-day business operations. The following are some conditions of the working capital loan:
|Loan Purpose||Loan Tenure||Government Risk Share||Loan Quantum|
|SME WCL||Provide businesses with working capital||Up to 5 years||50%||$500K per borrower or $5M for borrower group|
- The government’s risk share in the loan scheme is 50%. However, Young Enterprises might qualify for a government risk share of 70%.
- 30% or more of the business’s share must be in the hands of citizens or permanent residents.
- The maximum loan quantum is $500,000, and the loan tenure is five years.
- The interest rates are determined by participating financial institutions. While these rates might vary, they are mostly below 8% per annum.
- Applicants do not have to provide security.
- Even though the government has a 50% risk share in the loan one receives, the borrower is responsible for paying the entire amount of the borrower plus an accrued interest payment for the tenure of the loan. The participating financial institutions will have to follow the standard commercial recovery procedure in case of a default and then approach the ESG if they still have an unrecovered amount for any loan.
- There are no early repayment penalty fees for the SME WCL.
How a Business Loan Can Help Businesses Deal With Inflation
Inflation raises the price of goods and raw resources, as any company owner is aware. However, inflation has an extra cost when it comes to funding a business—the decline in your cash’s worth. For company owners, this poses a problem.
If you hold onto a large sum of money today, it will lose value every day, so if you utilize it to purchase products and materials tomorrow, you won’t receive as much as you would today. On the other hand, waiting to raise money might also be troublesome since the cash you get will be valued less and may not be as useful as if you had it.
1. How a Loan Can Help a Business Combat Inflation Now
Although the approach may differ for each firm, now taking out a loan could be the most effective strategy to battle inflation. If inflation persists, your money is valued more than it will be in the future; therefore, spending it as quickly as possible may be the smartest method to get the greatest value for your money.
Apart from combating inflation, a bridging loan can benefit any SME enterprise. These include:
2. Improving Your Credit Score
If you take a temporary bridging loan and repay it in time, you will gain the trust of financial institutions. This will make it easy to get loans in the future, and since you will have an improved credit score, your business will get favourable rates and terms.
3. Learning The Intricacies Involved In Taking A Loan
Taking a loan will even help you understand how the entire process works from start to finish. This way, when you require a loan in the future, it will not be your first time, and you will already understand how to go about it.
4. Help Your Business Expand
Taking a loan can help you have the funds to expand your business. We all know that expansion requires funds and resources to implement. A loan can be a great option to give you the financial muscle to scale up your business.
5. Taking Advantage Of A Business Opportunity
Whenever a business opportunity arises, a business may not have the funds to take advantage of it. However, that does not mean that they should let it pass by. A loan may be exactly what your business needs to take advantage of that opportunity that has opened up in your industry.
6. Obtain Working Capital
Loans such as the temporary bridging loans and the SME WCL are great financial products enabling enterprises to access working capital. This will let the business operate optimally and maximize its returns on the market.
Other Business Loan Options
Apart from government-assisted loan schemes, other business loan options are available in the market.
Bank Business Loans
|DBS Business Loan||OCBC Business First Loan||UOB SME Working Capital Loan||UOB BizMoney Loan||Maybank Business Term Loan||Standard Chartered Business Instalment Loan|
|Loan Tenure/maximum repayment period||Five years||Four years||Five years||Five years||Five years||Three years|
|Interest and fees||Subject to bank assessment||Subject to bank assessment||Subject to bank assessment||10.88% per annum
2% facility rate
S$500 annual fee
|Subject to bank assessment||Subject to bank assessment|
Licensed Moneylenders Business Loans
|Maximum Loan Amount||$200,000|
|Interest Rates||Between 5% – 15% per month|
1. What is a SME bridging loan?
A SME bridging loan is a short-term financing option designed to enable businesses to acquire working capital to run their operations. These are available from both banks and moneylenders.
2. What is the interest rate for a bridging loan?
The interest rate is dependent on the lending institution. For money lenders, a business loan has an interest rate of 5-15% per month. Bank rates are up to 6% per annum.
3. Do I qualify for a bridging loan?
To know whether or not you qualify for a bridging loan in Singapore, you should look at the eligibility criteria and the provider’s requirements. Money lenders have the most lenient terms and requirements in the industry.
4. Is there an alternative to a bridging loan?
You can use business loans provided by banks or money lenders. Also, another option is personal loans.
SME bridging loans enable a business to access working capital. This enables them to continue operating their business optimally to gain maximum returns.
Here are a few points regarding this type of financing:
- It is available from banks. Money lenders offer business loans as an alternative to WCL.
- Government-assisted schemes such as SME WCL do not require security.
- The government’s risk share in the SME WCL is 50%
- Anyone looking to apply for the WCL loan can do so through a PFI.
Besides banks, money lenders have business loan options that can be a good alternative for any business. These options are more appealing because they have reasonable terms and do not require security. In addition to this, they process their loans much faster than banks.
We understand that when you are looking for a bridging or business loan for your business, you would like it fast. This is why at 365 Credit Solutions, we offer the best loan options to help you meet your needs. No matter what loan you want, contact us today, and we will help you get the best for your needs.