SME grants and schemes guide for business owners

August 4, 2021 11:07 pm

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Being a business owner can be rewarding and yet challenging to keep the business relevant and sustainable. Thankfully in Singapore, the Government has rolled out many initiatives to help businesses improve their operations by adopting IT solutions, tide through this period of uncertainty, as well as generate new revenue streams.

Here are our top 7 picks for SME grants and schemes for every SME owner to consider applying:

  1. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
  2. SMEs Go Digital
  3. Job growth incentive (JGI)
  4. Job support scheme (JSS)
  5. Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)
  6. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
  7. E-Commerce Booster Package

1. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

What is the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)?

Productivity Solutions Grant was launched to encourage companies to adopt IT solutions and equipment to automate existing processes and improve productivity. 

What are some examples of IT solutions which are covered by PSG?

Some IT solutions covered by PSG include:

  • Human Resource Management system (HRMS)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Accounting Management
  • Inventory Management
  • E-Commerce – Online (B2C)

In fact, Payboy is a PSG-approved cloud-based human resource management system that offers one-stop solution to SME’s HR needs such as payroll processing, leave management, attendance tracking, shift scheduling and more. 

Reach out to us at our telegram channel – Payboy HR community (@payboyhr) if you need help to guide you through the PSG application.

How much is the PSG coverage?

The enhanced maximum support level of up to 80% will be extended from 30 September 2021 to 31 March 2022, as announced at Budget 2021.

Who can apply for PSG?

SMEs can apply for PSG if they meet the following criteria:

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding; with Company’s Group annual sales turnover less than S$100 million, OR less than 200 employees (for selected solutions only)

How to apply for PSG?

  1. Access the list of supportable solutions eligible for your sector and identify relevant solutions that best suit your business needs.
  2. Get quotation from pre-approved vendors or consultants
  3. Submit an application on the Business Grants Portal (BGP)

2. SMEs Go Digital 

What is SMEs Go Digital?

The SMEs Go Digital programme aims to help SMEs adopt digital technologies and build stronger digital capabilities to improve operations and generate new revenue.

What are some initiatives under the SMEs Go Digital programme?

  • Start Digital Pack: SMEs can take up any two solutions, at no cost for at least six months with a minimum 18-month contract period, from a range of categories including Accounting, HR Management System and Payroll, Digital Marketing, Digital Transaction, etc
  • InvoiceNow: IMDA implemented the nationwide E-invoicing network in 2019 to help businesses to shorten your invoicing processing time and help your business get paid quicker.
  • Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB): The last payout for DRB will take pace in July 2021

3. Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI)

What is the Jobs Growth Incentive?

The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) supports employers to expand local hiring from September 2020 to September 2021 (inclusive), so as to create good and long-term jobs for locals.

How much salary support does the Jobs Growth Incentive provide?

  • Up to 12 months of salary support for each non-mature local hire
  • 18 months of salary support for each mature hire, person with disability or ex-offender hired by employers that managed to increase their local workforce within the qualifying window.

Find out more about your company’s eligibility here.

4. Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

What is the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)?

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) provides wage support to employers to help them retain their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the enhanced JSS support provided during phase 2 and 3 (Heightened Alert)?

For closed sectors or sectors with enhanced safe management measures such as F&B, Gyms and fitness studios, Performing Arts & Arts Education:

  • 22 Jul – 18 Aug: 60%
  • 19 Aug – 31 Aug: 10%

For significantly affected sectors such as Retail, Cinemas, Museums, Art galleries, Historical Sites, Family entertainment, affected personal care, tourism, etc:

  • 22 Jul – 18 Aug: 40%
  • 19 Aug – 31 Aug: 10%

Who qualifies for the JSS?

In order to qualify for JSS payouts, employers are required to make mandatory CPF contributions for their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) by the stipulated contribution deadlines.

5. Wage Credit Scheme

What is the Wage Credit Scheme?

The Wage Credit Scheme is introduced to support businesses embarking on transformation efforts and encourage sharing of productivity gains with workers.

How much is the government co-funding under the Wage Credit Scheme?

In Budget 2021, the Scheme was further extended by one year to 2021, with the government co-funding ratio remaining at 15% and the qualifying gross wage ceiling at $5,000.

7. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

What is the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)?

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) aims to help Singapore companies grow by supporting projects to help businesses to upgrade, innovate or venture overseas under 3 pillars:

  1. Core Capabilities
  2. Innovation and Productivity
  3. Market Access

How much is the EDG coverage?

The enhanced maximum support level of up to 80% will be extended from 30 September 2021 to 31 March 2022, as announced at Budget 2021

What costs do the EDG cover?

EDG funds qualifying project costs such as:

  • 3rd party consultancy fee
  • Software and equipment, and
  • Internal manpower cost

Who can apply for EDG?

To qualify for the EDG, you need to:

  • Be a business entity registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

Click here to find out how to apply for EDG.

8. E-Commerce Booster Package

What is the E-Commerce Booster Package?

The E-Commerce Booster Package is introduced to support retailers in diversifying their operations and covering business costs of going online.

Through the package, retailers can engage one of the appointed e-commerce platforms to sell products online and expand reach in the Singapore market:

  • Lazada
  • Mummys Market
  • Qoo10
  • Shopee
  • Zalora

What is the availability of the e-commerce booster package?

This package is available from 16 May to 16 November 2021.

What cost does the E-Commerce booster package cover?

Eligible local retailers will receive a one-time support to cover 80% of qualifying costs (capped at S$8000).

Who can apply for the E-Commerce booster package?

Interested retailers should meet the following criteria:

  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore on or before 30 April 2021;
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding;
  • Group annual turnover not exceeding $100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report, or group employment not exceeding 200 employees;
  • Have an SSIC code starting with 47. Food manufacturers, food services, and beauty services companies can apply if they are predominantly retailing B2C products with at least one channel partner, either through its own physical channel or a channel partner (e.g. Fairprice, Redmart, department stores); and
  • Have a physical retail storefront1. Pure online retailers and home-based businesses are not eligible.

How to apply for an E-Commerce booster package?

Retailers may directly contact ONE (1) of the appointed e-commerce platforms and must not have an existing account with your chosen e-commerce platform. Contact details can be found here.

Here are some SME grants or schemes which have concluded or expired:

  1. Work-Life Grant

What is the Work-Life Grant?

Work-Life Grant provides companies funding support to implement and sustain flexible work arrangements (FWAs) for all employees, to create work-life harmony at the workplace.

Is Work-Life Grant still accepting applications?

Work-Life Grant is no longer accepting applications after 18 August 2020.

  1. Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme 

What is the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme?

Under the PIC Scheme, businesses enjoy 400% tax deductions/ allowances for qualifying expenditure incurred in any of the Six Qualifying Activities:

  • 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
  • Design Projects Approved by DesignSIngapore Council

Is the PIC scheme still available?

The Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme has expired after the Year of Assessment (YA) 2018.

  1. Special Employment Credit

What is the Special Employment Credit?

The Special Employment Credit was introduced as a Budget Initiative in 2011 to encourage and support employers to hire older Singaporean workers.

Is Special Employment Credit still available?

The Special Employment Credit is no longer available as it was only extended to end-2020 at Budget 2019. 

This post was written by Payboy