New SME Centre launched in Simei

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in the East can look forward to more support with the opening of SME Centre@Changi Simei. This is the third satellite centre by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Asme).

The new centre located at the Changi Simei Community Club joins two other SME Centre@ASME satellites in the North East and South East districts.

Over 10,000 local enterprises have received help from SME Centre@ASME since 2011. Such centres provide SMEs with free services such as business diagnosis and advice on government schemes.

At the launch, Member of Parliament (East Coast GRC) Ms Jessica Tan said "we want to see SMEs succeed", but stressed SMEs need to restructure to meet "increasing business cost and labour constraints".

Ms Jazreel Low, 47, CEO of Asmara Lifestyle, a local company that operates spas in Singapore and abroad said that while the spa business still depends heavily on the "human touch", her company introduced technology such as booking and customer relationship management systems to boost productivity.

The opening also marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASME and four associations: the Bedok Industrial Park E Association, Tampines Industrial Manufacturer's Association, Tampines SMEs Association, and Changi Simei Merchants' Association.

The MOU will extend the reach of SME Centre@Changi Simei to over 2,000 heartland businesses, including micro-SMEs that are enterprises with fewer than ten employees.

ASME President Mr Kurt Wee noted that micro-SMEs face constraints due to manpower shortages, but remains confident that more of them will "jump onto the productivity bandwagon" with new supporting schemes in this year's Budget.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development Mr Lee Yi Shyan spoke in Mandarin at the event. He encouraged local companies to make "full use" of the funds provided.

SMS Lee challenged the four associations to meet "100 per cent adoption" of government schemes by their member SMEs next year.