SMEs can tap funds for digital marketing with expansion of Productivity Solutions Grant

SINGAPORE – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will get more help to build their online presence as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the shift towards all things digital, said Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and Culture, Community and Youth on Thursday (Sept 23).

The Productivity Solutions Grant – which defrays up to 80 per cent of the cost of funding digital solutions – will be expanded from October onward to include digital marketing solutions.

“SMEs can tap this grant to develop their digital marketing strategy, create content, and execute digital marketing campaigns to support or boost their business. They can also use it to build an online customer base and attract more traffic to their brick and mortar stores,” said Ms Low at the annual SME Centre Conference that was held virtually this year.

She added that going digital allows SMEs to capture new growth opportunities and markets, and be more efficient. Businesses can make an appointment with advisors at any of Singapore’s 12 SME Centres for more details about the enhanced grant.

SME Centres – set up by Enterprise Singapore and five trade associations and chambers – offer help such as one-to-one business diagnosis and advisory services, capability workshops, and group-based upgrading projects.

These centres have helped over 20,000 enterprises so far this year and will be further enhanced to support SMEs’ needs, said Ms Low.

Companies can get more insights about how to develop their workforce, since the centres have partnered the Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP) to train their business advisors to use the Human Capital Diagnostics Tool navigator.

The complimentary self-help tool, developed by IHRP, offers an overview of a company’s human capital maturity. An assessment can be completed within half an hour.

The business advisors can then assess the results to customise strategies for addressing specific human capital gaps within a company.

Businesses can also get help with managing their finances at SME Centres. Specialist advisors have guided over 400 SMEs since February on matters such as businesses’ financial health and financing options.

Ms Low said: “SME Centres have also been working closely with promising SMEs to co-develop and implement growth roadmaps.”

Association of Small and Medium Enterprises president Kurt Wee said the advancement of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and intelligent automation had transformed many business processes even before the pandemic hit.

“As new innovations and technologies are developed, businesses must adapt their processes to stay competitive within the market. Although short-term survival is a key concern for many, businesses should focus on long-term survival and growth via continued transformation,” he added.