Thousands of small businesses in India are suffering due to the ongoing corona virus pandemic. A majority of these companies are considering the Covid-19 pandemic responsible for the drastic decline in their revenues. The future of these small businesses seems to be in a blur, and the probability of temporary closing down might become a reality for many.
To assist business owners in finding financial relief, we have collated a list of all major government agencies, a non-profit organization, and private companies, which have extended their support.
Government of India:
The small business ecosystem in India is faced with unprecedented challenges owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government is collaborating with numerous stakeholders to provide relief to the small business sector. The stimulus package offered by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, has a lot to offer for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India. Here are some of the offerings for MSMEs under the stimulus package:
- Businesses, including MSMEs, have been offered INR 3 lakh crores collateral-free automatic loans.
- Small businesses which have been severely hit due to the ongoing pandemic require additional capital to cope up with built-up liabilities, procure raw materials and reboot their businesses.
- The government has initiated an emergency credit line to MSMEs from NBFCs and Banks for a limit of 20% outstanding credit as on 29th February 2020
- The business with INR 100 crore turnover and INR 25 crore outstanding credit, are eligible.
- The loans offered will have a moratorium of 12 months and a 4 year tenor on principal repayment.
- The interests, in this case, are to be capped.
- Stressed MSMEs have been offered INR 20,000 crores as subordinate debt.
- MSMEs which have been stressed on account of the pandemic, require equity support.
- The INR 20,000 crore as subordinate debt offered by the Government of India, will be beneficial to over 2 lakh MSMEs across the country.
- MSMEs which have been categorized as functioning or non-performing assets (NPA) are eligible for this scheme.
- The promoters of MSMEs will be assigned the debt, which can then be utilized to infuse equity in their units.
- MSMEs have been offered INR 50,000 crores as equity infusion via Fund of Funds.
- Small businesses across the nation are facing a severe shortage of equity.
- Fund of Funds (FoF) will provide funding for MSMEs which are viable and have growth potential.
- The FoF will be operated via a Mother Fund and a few Daughter Funds.
- The FoF will assist MSMEs to expand their size and capacity.
- The fund will also encourage MSMEs to enlist themselves on the main board of Stock Exchanges.
- Global tenders up to INR 200 crores will be disallowed.
- Businesses, including MSMEs in India, have often faced unfair competition from overseas companies.
- To tackle this issue, the Government of India has disallowed global tenders of up to INR 200 crores.
- The necessary amendment in the General Financial Rules will be of immediate effect in this case.
- This initiative is a step towards Self-Reliant India or ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will also support the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
The Government of India is combating the pandemic by using innovative solutions and is providing strategic mentorship to start-ups via webinars. India’s start-up community in coalition with the Government of India, under the ‘Start-up India’ campaign, has set up funding resources for start-ups struggling to fight against the pandemic.
Action COVID-19 Team
Created by the start-up community of India, Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) has set up a grant of INR 100 crores to give flight to innovate ideas, which could possibly fend off the attack by Covid-19 pandemic. The ACT is looking out for start-ups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which can provide scalable and capital-efficient solutions. The ACT will provide an initial seed grant to such organizations, which will assist in curbing the spread of the pandemic.
United States – India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (COVID-19 Ignition Grants)
Through sustained partnerships between Indian and U.S. researchers and entrepreneurs, the United States–India Science & Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF) aims to foster and support the joint R&D for the public good. The USISTEF aims to achieve this by making the technology developed from this venture commercialized. . The activities of USISTEF have gained increased relevance and importance in the ongoing global crisis.
Omidyar Network India Rapid Response Funding
The Omidyar Network India has pledged INR 7.5 crores to this initiative. The network is seeking proposals for rapid response funding to organizations or businesses, which can help tackle the obstacle posed by the pandemic and the subsequent impact on the socio-economic front.
Bexley Advisors Covid-19 Action Fund
The innovators on the frontline of the global crisis can find a bridge to their required capital via Bexley Advisors Covid-19 Action Fund (BACoAF). These innovators are required to create innovative solutions to tackle the pandemic. The BACoAF is sharing the collected entries with participating investors and venture capitalists (VCs).
Small Industries Development Bank of India SAFE
The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched SIDBI assistance to facilitate emergency response against coronavirus (SAFE). The program offers financial assistance to medium and small enterprises (MSEs), which are involved in the services or manufacturing of products related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SIDBI SAFE PLUS
SIDBI has launched SIDBI SAFE PLUS to provide financial assistance to MSMEs, which are going against the specific orders from the Government of India and producing products and services directly related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), have launched an initiative, the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH). The R&D efforts in the direction to support the nation, need to accelerate to curb the damage caused by the ongoing global crisis. DST CAWACH is supporting businesses and organizations coming up with innovative and comprehensive solutions to tackle the pandemic.
Under the Covid-19 Start-up Assistance Scheme (CSAS), SIDBI aims to provide financial assistance to small business owners to tackle the financial and operational challenges. The scheme will aid small businesses which have shown the ability to adapt to the ongoing crisis and have ensured financial stability as well as employees’ safety.