More than 10,000 projects have tapped Enterprise Singapore (ESG) schemes in companies' growth and transformation efforts over the first half of this year, double the number of projects that benefited from these schemes over the same period last year.
The take-up of ESG's Productivity Solutions Grant and Enterprise Development Grant was revealed by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat after a tour of Markono Content Solutions' printing facility in Pioneer yesterday.
Markono is one of the firms that have benefited from ESG's schemes. It has developed its automation processes over the last few years, increasing its operational productivity and efficiency.
"(Markono) shows that companies in traditional sectors can also transform and make good use of technology to improve productivity and to enhance competitiveness," Mr Chee said, noting that the company has invested in ways to better harness data and systems processing to provide better services to its customers.
Markono managing director Edwin Ng said that one of the company's main transformation plans now is an upgrade of its enterprise resource management system.
"This lays the foundation for us to deploy solutions more seamlessly in future, as well as to automate some of the work processes that are currently conducted manually by our colleagues, (such as) admin, finance... sales and customer service," he said.
Mr Chee also announced that a schemes-matching tool will be launched next month.
This e-adviser on the GoBusiness Licensing portal will recommend suitable government schemes to help organisations grow, based on their needs.
"The philosophy that we use is that the starting point (for companies) should not be the schemes or the grants. The starting point should be what business transformation you want to embark on," Mr Chee said.
"Once we can answer these questions, then we can talk about what are some of the schemes that you can apply for that will facilitate this process, or for your company to transform, for you to build capabilities."
Targeted measures to help specific industries adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic have also seen healthy reception from businesses, he said.
ESG's food-delivery and e-commerce booster packages have been taken up by more than 10,000 food and beverage establishments and 700 retailers respectively.
Mr Chee said that more than 10,600 enterprises have taken up about $9.4 billion in loans between March and last month.
This amounts to more than seven times the credit extended under ESG loan schemes for the whole of last year, he added.
Such schemes can help businesses with their cash flow amid economic challenges and the Covid-19 pandemic.
About 80 per cent of firms that have tapped these schemes are small-and micro-enterprises with under $10 million annual revenue.
While the firms come from diverse sectors, about a fifth were in wholesale trade, while 15 per cent were from construction and 14 per cent from manufacturing.
Correction note: An earlier version of this article stated that more than 10,000 enterprises benefited from ESG's schemes. The figure refers to the number of projects embarked on in the first half of the year instead. We are sorry for the error.