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SMEs Will Be Benefitted With The New Policies Announced In Budget 2013

In providing better assistance, capital inflow, and healthy business environment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the country, the Singapore government leaves no stone unturned. Hence, policies, programmes, and schemes that are supportive to the SME sector have been introduced to increase business productivity, innovation and opportunities for growth.

For one, stricter restrictions have been implemented on foreign worker policies to avoid further influx of foreign workers in Singapore. These restrictions include increased levies and higher requirements for work permit and S Pass wage requirement. While these may be frowned upon by many SMEs who depend on foreign talents to decrease their manpower costs, this move by the government aims to give Singapore citizens more employment opportunities. The Government has brought down the Dependency Ratio ceiling that is highly relevant to the service sectors.

The hospitality sector may be hard hit by these adjustments because it is highly reliant on foreign workers. In a similar situation, hotels and restaurant chains will also find the new measures difficult to manage. However, the government has also put forward other initiatives that will help SMEs address other issues they are facing. The focal point is increasing productivity, innovation and providing access to technological solutions that can drastically improve business processes.

The government has launched a plethora of assistance schemes to help companies reorganize, enhance productivity, and employ more local employees while also improving their quality of life. The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) encourages companies to share profits with their employees by providing them with better wages. The working of the scheme is that for employees, who earn a gross monthly wage of S$4,000, the WCS co-fund 40% of wage increase for Singaporean employees over the next three years. There are very few steps and formalities needed to avail the benefit. Additionally, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) paved way for entrepreneurs to ease into the new policy by introducing a Transition Support Package.

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