In order for SMEs and startups to see consistent growth in their business, they need to continually improve their own productivity. Many business owners may have a lot of ideas and growth strategies for their own company. However, financial constraints may limit them in growing their business. Which is why in Singapore, the government provides a lot of help to SMEs and startups to increase productivity through several grants. Government Agencies like Spring Singapore and IDA have many schemes available for your businesses. There are also some other external resources available for you to make necessary productivity improvements.
Innovation and capability voucher (ICV)
The ICV is a $5000 voucher given by Spring Singapore to help businesses develop and improve their productivity and capability.
SMEs and businesses can use the vouchers to improve their core business development. They also provide consultancy projects that deal with 4 aspects, financial management, human resource management, productivity and innovation. Moreover, ICV also provides integrated solutions to bring your company to greater heights.
I-sprint package solution funds from IDA
Businesses can improve their productivity tremendously when they deploy IT services into their operations. However, it can be costly to implement IT systems into SMEs. The I-Sprint package is specifically to help businesses integrate IT into their operations. Up to 70% of the cost will be covered in this package, capped to $20 000. There are three types of solutions provided through this package. Firstly, the Basic solution which helps accounting, payroll and point of sales. This is capped to $2000. Secondly and Thirdly will be the Intermediate and Customized Solutions. These solutions will go further than the basic into more complicated systems. This is capped to $20 000.
More information can be found on the IDA website.
Productivity and innovation Credit (PIC)
The PIC scheme is provided by Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), where tax reliefs are provided for companies who engage in productivity improvement activities. There are 6 activities that companies can invest in to be eligible for this scheme. Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment, Training of Employees, Acquisition and Licensing of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Registration of Patents, Trademarks, Designs and Plant Varieties, Research and Development (R&D) Activities, and Design Projects Approved by Design Singapore Council. (More information can be found here.)Through any of these activities, you can receive one of the two benefits from this scheme. Either a 400% Tax deduction or a Cash payout of up to $100 000.
Enhanced Training support for SMEs (ETSS)
The government is consistently seeking to help increase employee productivity by improving the current skill sets of employees in Singapore. SMEs can benefit from sending their employees for CET training as employees are able to work more efficiently and have greater work capabilities. SMEs can enjoy up to 90% subsidy of course fees when paying for your employees. Also, businesses can claim absentee payroll of up to $7.50 per hour.
More information can be found on the WDA website.
- Micro Loan Programme (MLP)
SMEs constantly run into cash flow problems. To consistently grow your businesses, owners need to seek professional help to ensure smooth cash flow. When businesses are upgrading their daily operations and automating and upgrading their factories, owners can apply for the MLP programme and receive a loan of up to $100 000 with minimum of 5.5% interest rate, payable in up to 4 years. There is some eligibility criteria, do check out Spring Singapore here.
- B2B services
SMEs constantly face problems and inconvenience when sourcing for quotations from vendors for their projects. Third-party platforms such as ThunderQuote can help link up SMEs to other SMEs to meet each other’s business needs.
There are various schemes and grants available to help SMEs grow their businesses. Owners should constantly check the websites listed above for any updates or new schemes available to help your company further.