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New group founded to support SMEs

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The Singapore government has launched a new work group to raise awareness of aid schemes and help boost productivity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The work group will monitor the progress of existing programmes and come up with new methods to help 170,300 SMEs in Singapore, The Straits Times reported.

Led by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, the work group will compromise of both public and private sectors, and will include 16 other Members of Parliament, seven business chambers and agency representatives and five business leaders.

The Ministry of Manpower and JTC Corporation are two of the 11 government ministries also involved.

Teo noted there is a need to help SMEs as they employ more than 70% of Singaporeans, make up 99% of all firms here and contribute to over half of the country’s gross domestic product.

“We’ll look at the policies and schemes, review them and even revise them in order to help the SMEs as they make changes to their business models, strengthen themselves and increase their productivity,” he told ST.

Teo noted many companies were also unaware of the numerous programmes that have been launched, which are aimed at helping SMEs. Others are avoiding the schemes because they view them as being too complex.

Jessica Tan, MP for East Coast GRC and a member of the advisory sub-committee, told ST: “The important thing is to ensure that we work together with the business associations, the various agencies in government as well as the businesses on the ground to… ensure impact for SMEs.”

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