SME spotlight

Singtel & DBS champion campaign to support SMEs

Ms Tan Sue Lynn, owner of Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa, hopes the 99%SME campaign will let her reach more people and help them understand and experience how affectionate and beautiful community (stray) cats can be. Firms can publicise their business and pos
Ms Tan Sue Lynn, owner of Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa, hopes the 99%SME campaign will let her reach more people and help them understand and experience how affectionate and beautiful community (stray) cats can be. Firms can publicise their business and post promotional offerings on the www.99sme.sg website at no cost.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

99%SME in full swing as local companies take opportunity to publicise business on website

A marketing campaign to encourage people to support smaller local firms is in full swing after its launch last month.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can advertise their businesses on the platform, called 99%SME, which was set up by telco Singtel and DBS Bank.

The campaign name refers to the fact that nearly 190,000, or 99 per cent, of businesses here are SMEs.

The 99%SME campaign kicks off in earnest in SME Week, which runs from Oct 29 to Nov 1.

Singaporeans are encouraged to pledge their support for local firms and to shop, dine and buy from them during the SME Week, which will become an annual event. Firms can publicise their business and post offers on the campaign's www.99sme.sg website at no cost.

You can already check out the offers, share them with friends and take advantage of the deals when the campaign kicks off on Oct 29.

Mr Bill Chang, Singtel's chief executive of group enterprise, said: "The 99%SME campaign is our way of thanking local SMEs for their considerable contributions to our economy and society."

"Together with like-minded partners such as DBS, we are helping SMEs come together and promote themselves via various online, social and traditional platforms. Our aim is to turn eyeballs to footfall for them."

There are 310 SMEs participating in the campaign so far, ranging from those in the apparel business to manpower agencies and food and beverage operators.

Ms Tan Sue Lynn, owner of Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa, signed up for the campaign, lured by the publicity opportunities and a chance to share social messages about cat awareness.

"As an SME, we are constantly finding ways to promote our business through avenues such as social media and events, because we don't have the luxury of a proper advertising budget," she said.

She hopes the campaign will let her reach more people and help them understand and experience how affectionate and beautiful community (stray) cats can be.

Forte Watches, a local watch-maker, has also signed up.

"We feel that by joining the campaign, it'll act as a springboard for us," said Mr Daryl Li, the firm's brand manager.

"It'll be helpful when the Asean integration takes place. As there is a good Singapore brand in the region, we hope to do well here then reach out to the region and eventually go global."

Food delivery service Hawker Express aims to help hawkers extend their reach across Singapore.

Founders Scott Misso and Raffi Ismail see their company as an extension of the campaign's mission of promoting SMEs, by providing a platform for hawkers to offer their food to more people. The company will provide hawkers with a free delivery service.

Mr Misso said people are usually willing to travel to restaurants, but not so much for hawkers. Through the campaign, he hopes to share the message that "there is good food around, and that it's worth it to travel for hawker food as well".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2015, with the headline 'Singtel & DBS champion campaign to support SMEs'. Print Edition | Subscribe