Be open to new opportunities created by Covid-19, enterprises urged

To adapt, Swee Choon has adopted a digitalisation strategy. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Firms, including small and medium-sized enterprises, can look out for new possibilities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic to transform their businesses, even beyond digitalising.

Making this call on Thursday (Dec 17), Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said that this would then allow Singapore enterprises to be able to "emerge stronger and ready to take up new opportunities and challenges locally and globally in the future".

One of these opportunities is an increasingly digital economy due to Covid-19 accelerating the pace of digitalisation among consumers and businesses out of necessity.

He added that the Government would continue to work with companies to help them to transform so that they remain competitive and resilient amid the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

Mr Tan was speaking as the guest of honour at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award branding webinar on Thursday.

During the session, home-grown eatery Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant and social enterprise TreeDots shared their experiences of going digital amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently, Swee Choon's restaurant in Jalan Besar can accommodate only 247 people, a 40 per cent decrease from its pre-pandemic seating capacity of 420.

To adapt, Swee Choon has adopted a digitalisation strategy, said Mr Ernest Ting, who is the third-generation owner of the dim sum restaurant.

For instance, Swee Choon started selling frozen dim sum this year on its website.

Swee Choon started selling frozen dim sum this year on its website. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

It also has a selection of items available on e-commerce platforms Qoo10 and Shopify.

Other brands looking to grow digital can tap the Government's Enterprise Development Grant, said Mr Tan.

The grant will cover up to 80 per cent of qualifying costs for firms until Sept 30 next year.

Organised jointly by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Chinese-daily Lianhe Zaobao, Thursday's webinar drew 107 participants.

It precedes the annual Singapore Prestige Brand Award, which has been delayed this year because of safe management measures but submissions will open for the award next year.

Brands that are interested in vying for the award can e-mail the award secretariat at

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