In his Singapore Budget 2018 speech on Feb 19, the Minister of Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, announced a multitude of measures to take local businesses to the next level.
With a massive budget of S$800 million set aside for the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), the PACT scheme, and the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), these tools will help companies defray costs, facilitate innovation, and foster adoption of technologies and productivity boosters.
Here are four major business grants and schemes that will benefit your company.
1. The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
A combination of SPRING Singapore’s Capability Development Grant, and IE Singapore’s Global Company Partnership grant, this new streamlined effort is aimed at helping local businesses become more competitive both within and beyond national borders.
Companies that are looking to upgrade and expand internationally can use the EDG to cover up to 70 percent of qualifying costs and activities from FY2018 to FY2019.
Administered by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), a new statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the EDG will be available for application through the Business Grants Portal (BGP) from the fourth quarter of 2018.
2. The PACT scheme
Managed by ESG and the Economic Development Board, the PACT scheme (also known as Partnerships for Capability Transformation) focuses on promoting collaboration between various businesses, from SMEs to larger corporations. It is a merged scheme that consolidates a number of existing grant schemes, served to support partnerships, into a single plan.
The result is a “more holistic” measure that will offer a maximum of 70 percent of qualifying costs, used for collaborative projects between companies in areas such as capability upgrading, business development, and internationalisation.
3. The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
To encourage innovation, providing easier access to relevant, quality tools is imperative. The PSG was introduced to do just that.
Targeted at SMEs, it will fund up to 70 percent of eligible fees directed at the purchase of off-the-shelf productivity tools, including technology solutions and business equipment.
Not only does it integrate several existing grant schemes into a more focused effort, it also replaces the expired Production and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme that supported smaller enterprises in adopting technology and equipment through tax deductions.
Applications through the BGP for the PSG will open at the start of April this year.
4. The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)
An existing scheme that works to co-fund wage increases for employees, the WCS has been around since 2013, and will see another three-year extension, from 2018 to 2020. As before, it will support gross monthly wage increases of at least $50 for Singaporean workers up to a gross monthly wage of $4,000.
However, the percentage of government co-funding will decrease with each year – from 20 percent of qualifying wage increases in 2018, to 15 percent in 2019, to 10 percent in 2020.
According to Mr. Heng, the WCS is expected to cost about S$1.8 billion over the next three years, which will help businesses save a great deal of money. Not to mention, the scheme will alleviate unemployment concerns among local citizens with its pro-Singaporean hiring stance.
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