SMEs can tap free webinar series to improve business capabilities

The next session conducted in June will focus on how companies can better manage and retain their employees. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Although there is a range of schemes to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve their business capabilities, Mr Jason Ang did not know where to look.

The director of Kah Teck Hardware Trading, which deals in steel supplies like plates and pipes, said the company's sales revenue had fallen amid the Covid-19 pandemic and he needed help navigating the different initiatives.

"There are many schemes available, but business owners and management may not understand the schemes well enough to determine which are most suitable for our businesses," he said.

To help firms like Mr Ang's, a series of free webinars conducted by public and private industry players has been launched.

Around 200 SME owners and management staff attended the first session on Thursday (May 14). The webinar was conducted by representatives from SME Centre @ North West and SkillsFuture Singapore.

It was focused on key grants and programmes from Budget 2020 which SMEs can tap, such as the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit.

The scheme provides a one-off $10,000 credit to cover out-of-pocket expenses like business transformation, job redesign and skills training for employees.

Mr Ang said he learnt how to use initiatives like the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme and SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to retain and train employees.

He also plans to tap them to grow his talent pool.

The free webinar series is organised by the North West Community Development Council (CDC) and its partners: Enterprise Singapore, JTC, SkillsFuture Singapore, SME Centre @North West and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

The next session will be held in June, focusing on how companies can better manage and retain their employees during this period.

It also includes tips on adopting flexible work arrangements.

Subsequent sessions in July and August will look at digital marketing strategies and protection of intellectual property.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, the mayor of North West district, said: "Moving forward, it is essential that we encourage businesses to embrace digitalisation to better position themselves for the future - a distinctly digital 'new normal' in Singapore and the rest of the world."

More information on the webinar series can be found on North West CDC's website.

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