Government Opportunities For Small Businesses

Government Opportunities For Small Businesses – By 2020, the number of SMEs helped by the UOB group of commercial banks to enter state aid programs will more than triple. PHOTO: ST FILE

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Government Opportunities For Small Businesses

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Ongoing wage subsidies will reduce the 2021 budget needs of Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to a survey released by UOB on Wednesday (Feb 10). is on the first place in the list.

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Almost 30% of SMEs surveyed had applied for the Work Support Scheme (JSS) and the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) in 2020, and more than half of the total respondents wanted the schemes to be extended in 2021 (JSS 59 percent for and 53 percent for WCS).

Companies in the retail, real estate, and hospitality industries are most likely to benefit from government support for job protection, while small and medium-sized enterprises in recovering sectors such as manufacturing and professional services are most likely to benefit from industrial cooperation.

The SME Outlook 2021 survey was conducted between late November and early December of last year and surveyed 782 local SMEs with revenues of less than $100 million.

Small SMEs with capital of less than $10 million show a significant need for financial assistance to overcome short-term cash flow problems. They facilitate the use of tax credits, financing and grants, and help to apply for such grants and programs to the top of the 2021 budget list.

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They also had a slightly negative outlook for their business in 2021, with only half of small SMEs agreeing, compared to large SMEs with a turnover of $10 million to $100 million.

In line with their increased interest, large SMEs have shown a long-term perspective in their interests. Their top three demands were more opportunities for public-private partnerships, easier access to financing and support, and unsecured loans for business transformation.

Mr Eric Tham, President of the UOB Business Association, said: “Given the financial difficulties faced by many SMEs in Singapore during the slow economic downturn in the Republic of Niger, it is not surprising that they are looking for support. get better pressure to their limits.”

He said the research shows the need to support such businesses in their recovery process so that they can retain their employees, increase their long-term sustainability and be able to generate income.

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In 2020, the number of SMEs helped by the UOB commercial banking group to access state aid programs more than tripled. The bank has also received more inquiries about green loans, which Mr Tham sees as a sign that companies are prioritizing sustainability issues.

Last year, about 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises received assistance from the UOB group of commercial banks in applying for state support, grants and financing, and the number of loans allocated to small businesses increased by more than 1.5 times per year .

Mr Lawrence Loh, Head of Commercial Banking at UOB, said the bank will continue to work with ecosystem partners such as Google, Shopmatic and Getz to help small businesses improve their operations and access the internet. Since September last year, it has partnered with Ping An OneConnect and media development agency Infocomm to help more than 250 business-to-business companies enter China through OneSME ecosystems. .

“As the green light for economic recovery grows stronger next year, it is important for SMEs to be part of the industrial system so they can take advantage of current and future business opportunities,” said Mr Loh. We use cookies to give you gifts. your best experience on our website. You can find more information about the cookies we use in our Privacy Policy. Acceptance and closing

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An international panel examines the critical role governments must play in supporting the economic empowerment and digitization of small businesses amid unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic.

The economic toll of COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting small businesses, and governments must continue to help and make them count, according to participants in a global webcast featuring members of the public and businesses. independent.

It is estimated that small businesses employ about 70 percent of the world’s workforce and contribute to about half of the world’s gross domestic product. In developing countries, small businesses are often more important to employment and GDP. But many — especially those who aren’t used to working digitally — are having a tough time as the disease progresses.

“Planning for Recovery: How Governments Around the World Can Help Small Businesses ‘Build Well’?” website called Global Government Association and its sister company Global Government Fintech and sponsored by our academic partner Mastercard on October 1.

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A four-person committee explored the main challenges facing small businesses during a natural disaster; how the state and private sector cooperate to develop economic potential and innovation among small business entities; and how governments can help small businesses understand and prepare for a post-pandemic world.

“We see small businesses as the backbone of communities around the world,” Andrea Gilman, Mastercard’s senior vice president and global head of SMEs, told the panel. In April, Mastercard announced $250 million over five years to support small businesses in everything from digital payments and digital stores to cybersecurity and understand where they are in their digital journey. “The pandemic is affecting this segment more than others,” said Gilman, and “we believe that the ‘digital transition’ will help all businesses, and that is why we have launched digital development programs in all markets around the world. “

Tim Ogden, managing director of the Financial Inclusion Program (FAI) at New York University Wagner, a research center focused on improving financial services to meet the needs and improve the lives of low-income households, said: ] is increasing its economic impact.” Ogden said, “Many small businesses are owned by low-income people and provide employment to low-income households. It’s the lowest-paid workers who will see the biggest wage cuts [during the crisis].”

Pavel Winkler, who since 2017 has been the director of the Department of Trade and Internal Trade of the Czech Republic, which is part of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, presented the government’s perspective to the committee. for the government and business sector. Internet-based (businesses) don’t have as many losses as traditional ones – that’s for sure,” said Winkler. According to him, the main priority of his department is “family business”, which is characterized as the backbone of the Czech economy. is to help

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Other programs Winkler mentioned the Czech government has introduced to help small businesses include: a program that allows small businesses to test payment devices for free for up to 12 months; a new portal to give businesses a single point of access to agencies; and a decision to set only two days each year – January 1 and July 1 – when new laws affecting small businesses can be introduced, allowing businesses to retain their administrative and legal responsibilities to act

Darryl Julott, Managing Director of Digital Main Street Canada, an initiative created in 2016 by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Business Improvement Association (TABIA) to help small businesses take advantage of digital opportunities, is the fourth speaker of the webinar. For example, it offers free training from its ‘Digital Services Team’, which is usually made up of fresh graduates.

The natural outbreak has seen many small businesses turn to the government for subsidies, such as wage subsidies and business rental assistance, Julott said. “As the impact of COVID-19 continues, these common concerns are ‘still prevalent’ and are, in fact, the ‘number one, two, three and four concerns’ for many small businesses. All of this when it started happening in March , business owners have a lot of other things (as an advantage over the account) – they have to deal with life,” he said.

In response to efforts by governments around the world to invest more in helping small businesses, Ogden’s recommendations include doing more to help companies access markets and help small business owners acquire management skills. . Governments, he said, need to think creatively about policies such as tax breaks, subsidies, capital, soft loans and protection of small businesses from fraudulent transactions and “bad actors” such as lenders.

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Of the outbreak, he said: “We need to ask small businesses, not how we can survive for, say, the next six weeks, but what are the long-term opportunities.”

Gilman also noted that gender is often overlooked in discussions of how the disease affects businesses, saying small businesses owned by women have been particularly affected.

Ogden also commented on programs that help small businesses invest

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