Best COVID Recovery Grants and Support Measures for Businesses in 2021

Written by
Zachary Pestana
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

Fortunately, the Singapore government recognises the importance of helping businesses nationwide and has put together multiple grants to help firms bolster the impact that we will continue to face as the pandemic continues.

With that, here are our top picks for the best COVID-19 grants and support measures to help businesses in 2021!

COVID Recovery Grants to Help Businesses in 2021

1. Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG)

Together with the MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI), the Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) aims to support qualified financial institutions and FinTech companies as they adopt digital solutions to grow their business. This can also allow firms to increase efficiency, enhance their operations, and serve their customers better as well.

Successful applicants can receive 80% co-funding of qualifying expenses for applications submitted before 31 December 2021, and 70% co-funding will apply subsequently. This covers both hardware and software, such as maintenance, licenses, and professional services associated with the adoption of digital solutions.

There are two types of projects that are supported by this grant: Institution Project and Industry Pilot.

Here’s all you need to know:

Apply here

2. MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant

In a collaborative effort to support the fintech industry in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation launched the FinTech Solidarity Grant worth S$6 million.

Through this scheme, fintech firms who have been hit hard by the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic can use these funds to manage their cash flow more efficiently, generate new business innovations, and seek growth strategies for their business.

This grant can be split into 2 categories: the Business Sustenance Grant and the Business Growth Grant. Here’s a detailed breakdown of both grants:

COVID Recovery Grants to Help Businesses in 2021:
Apply here

Other Recovery Support Measures

1. Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP)

The Temporary Bridging Loan Programme was announced as part of the Solidarity Budget 2020, which aims to provide additional cash support and working capital for enterprises in the tourism sector—one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Eligible applicants can loan up to S$5 million with an interest rate capped at 5% p.a. With a maximum repayment period of 5 years. To supplement the loans that need to be repaid, the Government’s risk share of loans have been increased to 70% from 1 April 2021 till 30 September 2021.

As part of the revised scheme, the TBLP has been extended up to 30 September 2021. To supplement

Temporary Bridging Loan Programme Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be registered and operating as a business entity in Singapore
  • Have at least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singapore Citizen(s) and/or Permanent Resident(s)

2. Digital Resilience Bonus

Affected enterprises in the F&B and retail sectors can benefit tremendously from the Digital Resilience Bonus. This scheme was introduced to help businesses enhance productivity and operational efficiency through digital solutions such as:

  • Accounting and HR/payroll solutions
  • e-Payment (PayNow Corporate) and e-Invoicing
  • Data Mining and Analytics
  • Digital Ordering for dining in and takeaways
  • e-Commerce, e-Procurement and Food Delivery Platforms
  • Inventory Management

Unlike other grants and schemes available, companies are not required to manually apply for this bonus as the Providers of Qualified Solutions will automatically submit your UEN to IMDA if you are using any of the digital solutions above between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2021. With regards to the funding support provided, F&B and retail businesses can go up to S$10,000 each in payouts.

3. Enterprise Finance Scheme (EFS)

Although this initiative was launched before the pandemic came about, the Enterprise Finance Scheme can still help many businesses gain access to funding throughout their different stages of growth—creating new products to expand overseas.

The scheme covers six main areas of financing:

  • SME Working Capital Loan — for operational cash flow needs
  • SME Fixed Assets Loan — for investment of domestic and overseas fixed assets
  • Venture Debt Loan — for the growth of innovative businesses through Venture Debt and Warrants
  • Trade Loan — For all business trade needs
  • Project Loan — For securing overseas projects
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Loan — for acquisition of target businesses with the intent of international expansion

Enterprise Finance Scheme Eligibility criteria:

  • Must be registered and operating as a business entity in Singapore
  • Have at least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singapore Citizen(s) and/or Permanent Resident(s)
  • Have a Maximum Borrower Group revenue cap of S$500 million for all companies

4. Rental Relief for SMEs

While a significant amount of Singaporeans are still working from home as a result of the ongoing pandemic, there are several companies who have already gone back to their respective offices. But due to the impact of COVID-19, it has resulted in an economic downturn and affected many landlords and tenants in the country.

To help affected SMEs with their cash flow, the Rental Relief Framework seeks to help enterprises and specific non-profit organizations by providing temporary relief from accumulated rental obligations.

This will be given in the form of a cash grant to property owners including property tax rebate.

Eligibility criteria:

The Rental Relief Framework applied to eligible tenants of prescribed properties in qualifying license or leases that are in writing, which are:

  • Entered into before 25 March 2020 OR entered into before 25 March 2020 but expired and renewed automatically
  • In force at any time between 1 April and 31 July 2020 for qualifying commercial properties
  • In force at any time between 1 April and 31 May 2020 for other non-residential properties

Make full use of the resources in front of you

Considering the current business climate that we’re facing, it may be challenging to find avenues for funding on your own. That’s why we should tap into the resources made available to us by the Government and take full advantage of the grants you may be eligible for.

If you enjoyed this article, check out Singapore Startup Grants: A Guide to Get Funding below.
The impact that COVID-19 has had across multiple industries all over the world is hard to miss. We’ve seen businesses close down and companies downsizing their operations just to stay afloat during this challenging economic downturn.

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About the author
Zachary Pestana
is a seasoned writer in market trends and business thought leadership. With a writing history at Incorp Global, MOQdigital, and AIESEC Australia, Zachary leverages his broad range of experiences to stimulate industry conversations and engage audiences.
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