SINGAPORE - Rising business costs, especially rental cost, has emerged as the top key concern for businesses, according to research conducted by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS).
Based on its pre-budget survey and polls which attracted a total of 575 respondents, ICPAS found that 60 per cent of them worried that high business costs could be a major challenge as they braced themselves for slower growth ahead.
Another challenge businesses faced is difficulty with hiring, with 50 per cent citing problems with manpower shortage.
Ahead of the Budget 2013, respondents indicated that they hope the Government can lend a hand in managing rising business costs.
A total of 60 per cent felt cash grants to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would be beneficial, while 45 per cent indicated a wish for the Government to consider reviving the Jobs Credit Scheme, as it has been found useful in retaining jobs during bad economic times.
Rental cost also continues to be one of the top concerns related to business costs for SMEs.
81 per cent surveyed want measures to reduce or offset rental cost as their top wish list item for companies in the coming Budget 2013.
Many suggested that foreign worker policies be refined to allow greater differentiation to meet the unique needs of the various industries.