Having first heard of the BRDGE in 2017, Ms Leong Jew Lee found it to be an interesting new asset class after some research as it presented a new way to fund many SMEs with its crowdfunding approach.
This crowdfunding based alternative presented many opportunities to get themselves off the ground without bureaucratic processes preventing them from making their first steps.
In lieu of the recent pandemic caused by the Covid-19 Coronavirus, Ms Leong, an investor of 2 years on the platform, has started to revise her portfolio towards safer instruments taking more caution in the volatile climate.
Despite her more cautioned approach towards being an investor, this virus has not dampened her edge as an investor as she continues to look for investment opportunities.
“Personally I think it’s crucial to stay invested in the market, especially during this times,” Ms Leong explains in the interview.
“I will continue to support viable business, but of course it has to be after stringent risk assessment that they have a very solid business to start with before this pandemic started,” she continues.
Like many other investors, Ms Leong understands that many of our local SMEs are not pandemic proof and that consistent support now is extremely important to help them on the road to recovery.
BRDGE has also revised some of it’s policies to assist those businesses during this time, where previously a deal was structured such that the repayment comes included part of the principal and interest in the repayment, it had been revised to an interest payment only with the principal to be repaid at the end of the final month.
She likened this new revision to banks letting a person service the interest alone during this difficult time and felt this concept would help many of the businesses.
Ms Leong feels strongly for business owners during this trying time, she respects their strength and courage to guide their businesses in this troubling climate. Having more than just the burden of their families to shoulder but also the families of their employees while struggling to find temporary funding to stay afloat.
To end the interview Ms Leong hopes that those who are in a better position are able to help by providing much needed liquidity to deserving businesses.
She believes that in the end, while it wasn’t expected and it’s something we haven’t experienced before, this is only a temporary setback.
“Keeping these SMEs afloat also means keeping the jobs of maybe perhaps someone we know, maybe a relative, a friend or a neighbour. And when things go back to normal, and hopefully that comes soon, that these businesses can start working towards strengthening their business again.”
So far in this series, we hope that you’ve been able to ‘Bridge’ the gap between our SMEs and investors, in terms of understanding what each party is going through and how they’re viewing this situation altogether.
When the economy is adversely impacted, it is our SMEs that will bear with the brunt of the fallout. More than ever, our good local SMEs need our understanding & support in order to tide through this challenging period.
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