If you have ever confused been by the myriad government grants and schemes available, the newly launched GoBusiness Gov Assist aims to address this with their e-adviser service.
This service is especially timely now. Many businesses are still struggling with the impact from COVID-19 and may need additional governmental support to tide them through this difficult time. At the same time, there are also business that are leveraging on accelerating trends to supercharge their growth and can use additional firepower from the government to expand.
GoBusiness Replaces The SME Portal
GoBusiness Gov Assist replaces the old SME Portal which ceased on 1 September 2020. Instead, content from SME Portal is ported over to GoBusiness Gov Assist and Enterprise Singapore (ESG).
GoBusiness Gov Assist collates all grant related matters including the Productivity Solutions Grant listings and the GeBiz Alerts. Non-grant information such as SME support and appointment booking for business advisory sessions can be found at Enterprise Singapore.
Features Of GoBusiness Gov Assist For Companies
The great thing about the new e-adviser service is that you do not need to have go clicking through all the various grants and schemes to find out those that are relevant to you. Instead, the e-advisor will ask you some questions to narrow down the grants and schemes that may fit your needs.
Additionally, you don’t have to login to CorpPass or input any company identification to use the service. To begin, click on Get Started with e-Adviser button on the home page.
Step 1: Identify Your Business Needs
Once you click through, it will ask you to identify your business needs. You may select 2 out of the 10 options each time. If you have more than 2 business needs, you can restart the e-adviser with your other needs another time. By focusing on only 2 main business needs, it forces you to prioritise what is crucial to your business right now and focuses the grants result displayed.
For illustration, you chose “Help My Business through COVID-19” as the first business need and your specific need is “Get loans to alleviate cashflow issues”.
You chose “Improve Working Arrangements” as your secondary business need and the specific need is “Implement flexible working arrangements”.
Clicking on certain specific needs may bring up sub-options. For example, choosing “Get loans to alleviate cashflow issues” causes additional options to appear.
Step 2: Fill In Your Business Details
Next, you need to input some basic details about your business. This is mainly to help the e-adviser narrow down the grants and schemes applicable to your business. Some grants and schemes have criteria related to ownership, revenue size or years in operation.
Step 3: Read Through The Shortlisted Schemes
This step brings you to all the relevant schemes that the e-advisor has narrowed down as relevant to your business. The thumbnails give a short description of what the scheme is about and each scheme is tagged by type (e.g. “loan”, “grant”, “toolkit”). This provides a simplified overview of the relevant schemes.
Clicking on the “find out more” link of each scheme will bring you to the relevant agency’s webpage and you can find out more details about the schemes and the application process from there.
You also have the option to send your results to your email so that you can use it as a reference later.
If your business is having cashflow constraints, you can also rely on your business bank partners to facilitate with your application. For example, if you are banking with OCBC, they will ultimately be disbursing loans through the Temporary Bridging Loan (TBL) programme. You can also tap on other government-assisted business loans such as the SME Working Capital Loan.
GoBusiness Gov Assist Points You In The Right General Direction
As an e-adviser service, GoBusiness Gov Assist is much easier to use than the previous method of trawling through the last of schemes to identify those that are relevant to your business. Additionally, it pulls results across the various government agencies so that you don’t have to trawl through them all. While the results may not be fully relevant once you go deep into the scheme eligibilities, it does a provide a firm starting point for businesses.
Additionally, it still preserves the original functionality of SME portal as a central repository of government grants and schemes targeted at SMEs. All things considered, this is a credible attempt at a one-stop shop for SMEs looking to navigate through the myriad government grants and schemes.
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