Ever wonder why so many people are complaining about being caught in the rat race and no time to do what they would love to do.
For Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) owners, the pressures and stresses are even greater.
They are always struggling to achieve a balance among many priorities, their work, family, relationship, health, etc goals & grinds in life, without ease and grace.
In Singapore, with increasing business and manpower costs, 42% of 2708 SMEs surveyed indicated they are in fire fighting mode and no mood to talk about gain in productivity and business growth.
(Y2013 Survey by DP Information Group)
Various Reasons given are:-
- You can upgrade in capacity, but if if you don’t have the manpower to service the market flow
- Raise in productivity do not justify the cost or the need for it
- 90% of the respondents said they face obstacles in improving productivity, such as lack of knowledge on how to implement productivity improvement activities and lack of (in-house) resources
DP Info managing director Chen Yew Nah advises SMEs to strive to “get their mojo back” or risk decling fortunes.
“SMEs need to understand that the riskiest thing to do is to stand still. After a period of stagnant growth, the balance sheets of SMEs have weakened and more SMEs are now considered to be high credit risks.”
The Singapore Government’s holy grail is for higher productivity in Companies, especially SMEs.
Ms Choy Sauw Kook. assistant chief executive of Spring Singapore, said her agency is “now intensifying efforts to educate them on the “how-tos” of implementing productivity measures.”
Initiatives by Spring
SPRING Singapore offers several initiatives to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):
- Free self-help toolkits on areas such as financial management, human resources, customer service, marketing, and productivity, which are available on the agency’s website.
- Businesses can offset productivity upgrades using the Innovation and Capability Vouchers, valued at $5,000. These vouchers can also be used for consultancy services from participating providers, to help plan and budget finances, manage cash flow and working capital, and assess growth potential.
- SMEs embarking on large financial management projects can use the Capability Development Grant to defray up to 70 per cent of project costs. These projects can include developing a financial frame work, business expansion strategies, and implementing corporate financial systems and mergers and acquisitions.
- SMEs that need general business help and advice on government assistance schemes can speak to advisers at SME Centres located across Singapore.
At a time when small firms are coping with labour shortages and rising competition, Spring Singapore has ridden to the rescue. Its helping hand to Singapore companies in 2014, created an estimated S$8 billion in value-add for the economy while adding 22,000 jobs when fully realised.
http://www.edc-asme.sg/ Association of Small & Medium Enterprise (ASME)
http://www.smecentre-smf.sg/ Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF)
http://www.smecentre-sicci.sg/ Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI)
http://www.smecentre-smcci.sg/ Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI)
http://www.smecentre-sccci.sg/ Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)
The centres provide one-to-one business diagnosis, advice on government schemes, guidance on grant applications and in-depth advice in areas such as productivity, buman resources, overseas expansion and financial management.
Transcript of various SME Schemes
A) Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme
Objectives of the PIC scheme
The PIC scheme was introduced to support businesses that invest in innovation and productivity improvements. Businesses can enjoy a 400% tax deduction or 60% cash payout1 for investments under six qualifying activities. In Budget 2013, the PIC Bonus was introduced to provide businesses a dollar-for-dollar matching cash bonus on top of the existing PIC tax deductions and/or cash payout.
To qualify for the PIC cash payout, businesses must have:
a) Incurred PIC-qualifying expenditure during the basis period of the qualifying YA;
b) Active business operations in Singapore; and
c) Employed and made CPF contributions for at least three local employees. These three local employees must not be sole-proprietors, partners and shareholders who are directors of the company.
“6 ways to boost tax savings with productivity and innovation credit scheme”, or in short PIC scheme
How is PIC Works
Invest in any of these 6 activities, Training of Employees, Automation Equipments & Software, R&D, Registration of IP, Acquisition of IP and Design Projects.
Get a tax deduction or a cash payout when you invest in your workers, equipments, research, design or intellectual property rights.
60% Cash Payout or
Tax Deduction up to 400%
Note:- Budget 2013 New Enhancement – PIC Bonus. Business that spend a minimum of S$5,000 in qualifying PIC activities in a YA, will receive dollar-for-dollar matching cash bonus up to S$15,000 for YA 2013 to YA 2015. This is in addition to existing PIC benefits.
B) Enterprise Training Support (Employers)
You can receive funding support for the following:
|Training Grant||Up to $200,000 per company||Supports the cost of non-WSQ training and structured OJT, with bundled WSQ training forming at least 30% of an enterprise training plan.|
|Capability Development Grant||One-time grant of $20,000 per company||Helps you build your in-house capabilities in the areas of training delivery and infrastructure.|
|Curriculum Contextualisation and Alignment Grant||Up to $52,000 per company||Helps you defray costs in developing Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training modules, both in terms of content and training delivery. The grant will also support development of OJT blueprints.|
|HR Development Grant||Up to $60,000 per company||Helps you:
|Compensation and Benefits System Review Grant||Up to $15,000 per company||Helps you defray costs of engaging consultancy agencies to conduct enterprise-wide industry salary benchmark reviews and restructuring of wages, to attract local talent and retain them in a tight labour market.|
Businesses can also enjoy the PIC Bonus from YAs 2013 to 2015 when they invest a minimum of $5,000 per YA on PIC qualifying expenditure. The PIC Bonus is a dollar-for-dollar matching cash bonus given to businesses, capped at $15,000 for all 3 YAs combined.
Computing PIC Bonus
You will receive an equal amount in PIC bonus on every dollar that you spend on qualifying activities, subject to a cap of $15,000 over YAs 2013 to 2015.
|YA 2013||YA 2014||YA 2015|
Qualifying PIC Expenditure
PIC Cash Payout (1)
Total PIC Benefits
Note:- PIC Bonus scheme ends in 2015.
For more details, please click IRAS website
C) “Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies” (GREET)
The Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET) aims to encourage owners and operators of new and existing industrial facilities to invest in energy efficient equipment or technologies. The scheme is co-administered by the National Environment Agency and the Economic Development Board.
Typical funding of up to 20% of the qualifying costs, capped at $4 million per project.
The qualifying costs include the following:
- Manpower cost
- Equipment and materials
- Professional services
Singapore GST is excluded.
Disbursement of Grants
All disbursements will be made on a reimbursement basis.
D) and many more
EnterpriseOne, managed by SPRING Singapore, has also set up SME Centre at various trade association locations, to advise the SMEs on the following:
|Understanding Business Concerns|
|Government Assistance Schemes Updates|
If you do need to know more about the Government grants, its subsidized project implementation details and another view on your productivity gains vs costs, why not contact me for a free first appointment.
Besides, English, I could converse with you in other language like Mandarin or dialects such as Hokkien, Cantonese or Teochew, if you are more comfortable.
I will be delighted to be of service to you.
If you want to have Free first appointment consultation at your office, please contact our company at phone no +65 96431052 or
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reuben H C Ong (a.k.a Reubeno)