Six local business families in Singapore have come together to set up a S$5 million Help Our Promising Enterprises (Hope) fund to provide short-term loans to SMEs impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The firms behind it are Goldbell Group, the Super Group founder’s investment firm Apricot Capital, Ho Lee Group, Paradise Group, Sing Lun Group and Soilbuild Group, working together with the Singapore Business Federation Young Business Leaders Network.
SMEs whose businesses have been affected by the coronavirus can tap on the fund to apply for working capital loans for up to 12 months.
It allows each company to take a fixed loan of S$50,000, expecting to benefit around 100 firms.
The working capital loans will be provided at a lending rate between 0.5 to 0.75 per cent monthly, compared to the typical industry rate that ranges widely between 7 and 18 per cent per annum.
Borrowers will also be allowed to defer the loan principal and interest repayment to start from the third month onwards.
A S$80 processing fee will be charged to cover administrative costs, which amounts to just 0.16 per cent, while most platforms charge one to two per cent.
The Hope fund will be available to firms that have been incorporated in Singapore for 12 months or more, with at least 30 per cent Singaporean shareholding and a minimum paid-up capital of S$25,000.
Applications will open on 26 February 2020, and companies will be matched to monies through Goldbell’s private debt investment platform Goldbell Evolution Network.
They can also receive their loans within 24 hours of approval.
“We understand the urgency of the situation and have constructed a credit-scoring model for this programme, allowing loans to be approved quickly and to be disbursed in 24 hours from loan approval,” said Alex Chua, CEO of Goldbell Financial Services.
Added Sing Lun CEO Mark Lee: “We want to help companies with good business models ride through this crisis, give them an opportunity to build a stronger business and at the same time, help preserve jobs for our community.”
Featured Image Credit: Goldbell, Paradise Group