This post was previously published on 11 April 2014. For more up to date information on the PIC scheme and other budget initiatives, please refer to our most recent blog post on Singapore Budget updates, with the latest available information from IRAS. For the full details, visit the IRAS PIC site.
The three key buzzwords SMEs can take from this year’s budget announcements are definitely ‘new’, ‘enhanced’ and ‘extended’. It really is a fantastic time for SMEs to realise their growth potential and maximise all that is on offer to become best in class in their industry. More than just offering financial assistance, the programmes and initiatives also hope to improve workforce training and support frameworks while helping companies to restructure effectively and become more productive.
4 key focus areas for SMEs in the 2014 budget:
ProductivityMaximising growth, streamlining workflows, optimising supply chain
InnovationAdopting new technology and methodology, remaining ahead of the curve, implementing innovation into everyday operations
InfocommAutomating processes, accessing the latest communications tools, embedding the best tools into your organisation
InternationalisationFostering global partnerships, creating new avenues for expansion, encouraging collaboration
What steps can SMEs take to benefit from these measures?
Here are 7 things your organisation can do to make the most of the many programmes and incentives on offer.
1. Get the right help and support – from the experts
Do you need more support or advice about business operations, financial management, human resources, innovation or productivity? This programme connects you with the right consultants who can work with you to improve a range of business issues including manpower planning, budgeting, quality management, and technology developments.
The Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) is worth up to $5000 and can be used for consultancy projects as well as solutions.
Visit the SPRING website for the full list of consultancy support and to submit your application.
2. Leverage the latest technology
You know that your growing company would benefit from new technology and tools but you also know that they can be expensive to implement and you have too many other financial burdens.
The iSPRINT IPG programme helps to alleviate some of the financial outlay (up to 70%) and provides options for you to automate and streamline some of your business processes including payroll, accounting and customer relationship management (CRM).
Visit the iSPRINT website to see the full range of benefits and how to apply.
3. Become more productive and explore innovation
The Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) has been further extended this year to assist qualifying SMEs with:
- Purchase/Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment
- Acquisition/In-Licensing of Intellectual Property
- Research & Development
- Training of Employees
- Registration of Intellectual Property
- Approved Design Project
The financial benefits of investing in such technology include 400% tax deductions and 60% cash pay-outs (with caps).
Check out the qualifying IT and Automation Equipment list, as well as the full breakdown of financial incentives on the IRAS website.
4. Empower your team
Learning needs to be a lifelong investment for your teams if you want your workforce to stay at the cutting edge of business. Training can be expensive but the enhanced incentives mean that up to 90% of fees for certified courses can be subsidised.
View the full qualifying requirements on the WDA website.
5. Access funds when you need to
Setting up a company and running it well can be an expensive time for SMEs. Financial support is available through the SPRING micro-loan initiative and can help to fund your daily business operations as well as the upgrade and automation of certain pieces of equipment. This programme is run in conjunction with several leading banks and financial institutions in Singapore.
See how much you could be entitled to and view the full list of participating financial institutions on the SPRING website.
6. Learn how to help yourself
SMEs who need to set up an internal framework for marketing, human resources or financial management can access free toolkits so they can self-diagnose business issues. The kits include templates, worksheets and checklists that organisations can immediately implement to improve their business operations.
7. Visit the right places for help
SME centres have been established to offer in-person guidance, advice and support to SMEs on a range of topics from productivity to making the most of government incentives and accessing education. There are currently three centres across Singapore providing free advice, seminars and workshops.
Check out the events and book a free business advisory appointment on the ASME website.
We think you’ll agree that there are so many great opportunities in Singapore for small and medium businesses to really maximise their business potential. Blue Ocean Systems has worked with many clients who have taken such opportunities and used them to grow their business through effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Talk to the team today to learn how your organisation can benefit too.