Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Teo Ser Luck said the Government is committing more resources to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) stay ahead.
Speaking at the fourth Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) Conference today, Mr Teo said Spring Singapore will partner the Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) in reaching out to SMEs on tapping on government assistance programmes.
The five EDCs will step up their one-to-one business advisory services for SMEs, including free Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC) Clinics which will help SMEs understand the PIC programme.
At these workshops, SMEs can seek advice on how to file tax claims for productivity and innovation expenditures.
The workshops will be held from May 3 onwards and is conducted by the EDCs and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
The half-day clinics will be held every Thursday until the end of October at the five EDCs and IRAS premises. About 500 SMEs are expected to benefit from the clinics.
In his speech, Mr Teo said SMEs must improve productivity and develop innovative products so that they can meet market needs more efficiently.
"This requires SMEs to build up their know-how, deepen their management capabilities and leverage on technology to stay competitive," he said.
According to Mr Teo, SMEs can make use of experienced business advisors at the EDCs to diagnose and provide information and advice to SMEs in areas like financial and human resources management, branding and overseas expansion
SMEs can also learn to upgrade their core capabilities, leveraging on relevant government assistance programmes.
The EDCs are part of the EnterpriseOne initiative managed by SPRING with support of from the public and private sectors.
According to SPRING Singapore, the number of SMEs that has tapped on the EDCs' resources and facilities has risen five times, from about 2,400 in 2005 to some 12,000 last year.