The government has been supportive of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and to continue inspiring entrepreneurs towards further innovation, various grants are created for SME’s using the latest technology.
Automation Support Package
ASP is currently the latest grant introduced by the government for SME’s to encourage the business owners into starting utilizing automation solutions through their various business operations such as mechanization of previously manual operations, redesigning existing workflows and adaptation of other technology for other activities.
To qualify, the SME must be registered and currently operating in Singapore and has at least 30% local shareholding.
Under ASP the entrepreneur can now simultaneously tap on a grant, an allowance and a loan.
- Capability Development Grant (CDG)
CDG covers up to 70% of the cost of harnessing automation solutions across existing operations but this excludes replacing or upgrading equipment that does not keep up with the main purpose of the grant and purchasing new equipment for setting up new operations.
CDG is split through two projects:
- Pilot automation projects include the use of automation solutions for the first time. This may include self-ordering/payment kiosks, robotic arms for operations and mobile ordering applications.
- Full-scale automation projects cover large-scale utilization of automation solutions throughout existing operations. Owners may apply for further financial support of up to 50% of the project and each project can have a grant as much as S$1 million.
- Investment Allowance
SMEs can have as much as 100 percent Investment Allowance (IA) under ASP to offset taxable income.
- Enhanced SME Equipment Loan
Loans up to S$15 million for automation equipment can be granted if the company qualifies for ASP. While equipment loans can stretch up to 8 years, the factory loans can be up to 10 years.
Enhanced iSPRINT (Increase SME Productivity With Infocomm Adoption & Transformation)
Since March 2010, iSPRINT has been offered to SME to inspire business automation towards increased productivity and growth. To qualify, the business must be registered and running in Singapore with at least 30% local shareholding and has 200 or less employees with group annual sales turnover not exceeding S$100 million.
Enhanced iSPRINT covers Four Solutions:
- Packaged Solutions
- Intermediate Solutions
SMEs who want to install ready-to-use solutions included in a pre-qualified list can receive up to 70% of the cost but the grant will not exceed $20,000 per solution. Should the chosen solution be subscription-based, it is entitled for a 1-year support.
- Sector Solution
SMEs who want to install proven sector-specific solutions selected from a pre-qualified list will receive a funding of up to 70%. The subscription based solution is eligible for a two-year support. The SME will have to pay the vendor with 30% upfront and the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA) will reimburse the cost directly.
- Connect-up Option
SMEs can also install high-speed connectivity to support any of the chosen technology solutions from the prequalified list. The recurrent cost of the fibre subscription plan of up to 24 months will be subsidized at 50% not exceeding $120/month. Should the SME chose the Wireless@SG equipment, 50% will be subsidized not exceeding $2,400. This is for SMEs which required the high speed connection in public business area.
- Customized Solutions
As the name suggests, an SME may choose a modified solution not included on the lists, however, the make sure that the project has not started yet before you process your application in IDA. All proposal projects must be done locally.
- Piloting New Sector Solutions
If you are an innovative vendor who want to develop a new sector-specific solution, then you can qualify for a grant up to 80% but not exceeding $1 million. The SME must pay the 20% cost upfront and the IDA will reimburse the fee directly.
- Scaling Up Proven Sector Solutions
The proven sector-specific solutions can upscale to pre-qualified Package Solutions with subsidized support of up to 70% while the 30% must be paid upfront by the SME.
Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
BIF is developed to encourage SMEs into developing and using various technologies towards a reformed business structures that will optimize customers’ experience. With an increased competition among SMEs in tourism it is fit for various companies to think up unique solutions to keep their clientele growing.
To be qualified for the BIP, the SME must be either directly in the tourism sector or a technology company that develop services and products for the use of tourism. The proposed projects must ultimately support enhancing tourism in Singapore may it involve product development, business processes, financial management, marketing or superior quality service.
An SME with a propose project towards developing better tourism in part or across the island, you can be entitled for a fund as much as 70% of the qualifying costs. The qualifying costs can be those related to staff training, product developments, computer system redesigning, added internal manpower fees and fare related to the project.
Even non-SME can have a funding support of up to the 50% of the total qualifying cost, however these cost must be justified with right documentation. Marketing, maintenance, packaged solutions and hardware and software costs not related to tourism development will not be covered by BIF.
If you are an SME involved with making tourism souvenirs or a resort owner, then you can qualify for the funding.
However, despite preparing necessary requirements to get the above grants, you are still subject to the respective government department’s scrutiny. If you have a business break that is hard to pass up and the grant process is taking so long, you can process a business loan anytime with Cash Mart.
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