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Hard cash

CASHFLOW is the lifeblood of every business. Yes, revenue and profits matter, but any seasoned business owners will tell you that it is cashflow that will quickly make or break the company in the long run.

This issue, we zoom in on financial services and how it has evolved over the years to meet the needs of SMEs.

In our Top Story, we look at the plethora of financing options that SMEs now have access to, and what their pros and cons are.

The need for SME financing has not changed throughout the years, but the process and options available have now altered quite a bit.

Banks and financial institutions may still make the bulk of SME financing loans, but fintech is fast changing the scene. Peer-to-peer lending, better known as crowdfunding platforms, has been gaining traction among the SME community due to speed and easier access.

This brings us to our Towkays for this issue, brothers Arthur and Alex Chua from Goldbell Group, Singapore's largest lessor and distributor of commercial vehicles and industrial equipment.

Interestingly enough, one new area that Goldbell has ventured into the last three years is financial services. The brothers describe it as ''an SME lending to an SME''.

Not only does Goldbell offer loans for equipment, it also offers loans for working capital, commercial property and factoring.

But that is just one part of the business. The pair of third-generation leaders has wasted no time venturing into new areas, such as a flashy Future Mobility division that looks at innovation and technology in transport.

In this issue's Smart Capital section, we find out how banks are responding to a new platform economy and changing customer demands. This comes as they rapidly digitalise to seize new opportunities of growth, while also being confronted with the challenges presented by the platform economy and strong fintech entrants that could pose serious competition.

In the Space section, Colliers International highlights some attributes that will future-proof buildings, boost their ''rentability'' and unlock the human potential.

Finally, in our Cutting Edge section, we feature the owners behind two new food concepts - Kele Roll Cake and Katto - that have set up shop in VivoCity.

We hope the pages come in useful.

Vivien Shiao

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