Adopt more coordinated approach to helping SMEs grow, says Singapore business chamber

Set up a single government agency focused on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and introduce a loan scheme to help firms tide over cash flow needs for restructuring.

These were among the suggestions for the upcoming Budget put forward by the Singapore Business Federation's (SBF) SME Committee in a paper submitted to the Government last week.

SMEs, which employ 70 per cent of the Singapore workforce, continue to grapple with perennial issues such as tightening manpower and rising business costs, said SME Committee chairman Lawrence Leow.

Help with reducing business costs is still at the top of the wishlist for Budget 2015, he added.

The latest SBF National Business Survey also showed that SMEs are less optimistic about their outlook than larger companies.

The committee has proposed that the government adopt a more holistic approach to SME development, and implement targeted measures to help firms manage the challenges of restructuring, said Mr Leow.

The committee has 29 recommendations for Budget 2015.