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Breaking down government grants - why SMEs should acquire them

· sme,government grants,enterprise singapore
What is a Government Grant

In the Singapore context, a government grant is a financial award given by the Singapore government to an eligible grantee. Government grants are not expected to be repaid and do not include technical assistance or other financial obligation, such as interest rates, profit sharing or equity swaps . More than a dozen agencies in Singapore administer more than 25 grant programs annually to provide funding for the enterprise development, human capital development, productivity, overseas projects and more.

BREAKING DOWN Government Grant

Government grants help fund ideas and projects providing increased employment opportunities to residents in Singapore, increasing profits and stimulating the economy in the process. Grants support overseas market expansion, process redesign, branding, automation, digital transformation, innovative research and other programs listed in the SME Portal.

Because government grants are funded by tax dollars, they require stringent compliance and reporting measures for ensuring the money is well-spent. Grants from the Singapore government are authorised and appropriated through the budget passed by parliament every March. In Singapore, Grant authority is usually centred around the purpose of the grant. For example, Enterprise Singapore (ES) distribute grants to SMEs above 30% local shareholding, with a minimum of SGD500,000 in annual turnover, to cover costs of consulting and implementing projects in the core areas of Branding, Digital Transformation and Process redesign among others.

Business Grants Portal (BGP)

BGP is an online portal for businesses to access government grants in one place, so it's easier to find and apply for the grants they need. SMEs can apply for Enterprise Singapore's Market Readiness Assistance and Enterprise Development Grant, Singapore Tourism Board's Business Improvement Fund and the Productivity Solutions Grant on BGP.

What SMEs can do on BGP:
  1. Find the right grant
    Answer a few simple questions to get to the right grant.

  2. Apply for grants
    Complete your application forms online and we'll direct your applications to the right agencies.

  3. Manage all your grants
    All your applications are visible here, from status updates to the agency processing them.

  4. View and accept grant offers
    Receive and accept your Letter Of Offer when your grant is approved.

  5. Retrieve your ACRA profile
    Your company profile will be automatically populated with information already provided to ACRA.

Applying for a Government Grant

Government grants are extremely competitive. The paperwork is complex, and applicants must describe how being awarded money will benefit the economy and community. Crafting a convincing proposal is so challenging that some agencies specialise in writing grant proposals.

Being Awarded a Government Grant

Receiving a government grant is a sign an SME organization has a significant, positive impact on the community and economy. Other grantors view this as a sign they should provide grants for the project as well. When an SME receives a government grant, the government is more likely to listen to views of the people involved with the organization and potentially help those people network with others in the same field or help with related issues.

After receiving a check for a government grant, detailed reports accounting for how the money is spent during the grant period and what accomplishments or failures occur must be documented and submitted according to various deadlines.

Example of a Government Grant

Enterprise Singapore may fund proof of concept programs for digital transformation or artificial intelligence, which helps the SME increase productivity and save labour costs. For example, an SME may secure a grant to detect temperature, pressure, flow and volume digitally and be prompted my the AI should any of the readings record levels that are near to limit levels for any amount of time. The AI will also be able to predict maintenance requirements and alert the user the level of maintenance accurately.  

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