Construction firms get tips on tapping Govt aid schemes

Construction firms get tips on tapping Govt aid schemes

In a spartan room lit by fluorescent lights, a group of middle-aged men sit in a row, waiting for their names to be called.

They walk tentatively to a table where officers from the Building Construction Authority (BCA) are seated.

The men, mostly owners of small construction firms, listen intently as the officers talk about government grants aimed at boosting productivity.

Before long, their brows furrow and they look confused.

Mr Tan Lian Guan, managing director of Leong Hin Huat Contractor, asks in Mandarin: "How do I find more about the grants on the Internet? I just don't know where to start."

He says he wants to buy machines which reduce the load on workers at his firm, which specialises in the demolition of buildings.

The BCA officers suggest he buy equipment which can hack walls with less manual labour and advise Mr Tan how to apply for grants which can subsidise the cost of the machines.

This is the construction industry's "meet the people session".

The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (Scal) and BCA have been organising these meetings since December 2011 to help construction bosses navigate the myriad government schemes they can tap to improve efficiency.

Scal president Ho Nyok Yong said that bosses of smaller firms are the target audience.

Unlike larger companies, smaller firms do not have designated staff put in charge of looking into various government aid schemes.

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