Singapore Prestige Brand Award to honour local firms that have demonstrated resilience amid Covid-19 pandemic

(From left) Mr Rob Khoo, Mr Ernst Huber, Mr Eugene Ang, Ms Chew Lee Ching, Ms Goh Sin Hwee during the Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2020/21's official launch.
(From left) Mr Rob Khoo, Mr Ernst Huber, Mr Eugene Ang, Ms Chew Lee Ching, Ms Goh Sin Hwee during the Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2020/21's official launch.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Innovative local brands that have transformed their businesses and shown resilience amid the pandemic can throw their hats in the ring for a coveted annual award.

The Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) has recognised the unprecedented environment of the past 12 months by making "On to Higher Ground" the theme for this year.

It reflects the challenge the current economic climate presents as businesses make their way towards recovery after the pandemic, said the event's joint organisers, the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao.

"2020 was a year of immense challenges and disruptions, with many businesses having to operate in survival mode," they noted at a launch ceremony at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre in Toa Payoh on Wednesday (April 28).

"Moving away from traditional business models, enterprises had to accelerate their pace of digitalisation and innovation in order to transform and adapt to a completely new business landscape."

The SPBA, which is now in its 20th year, has recognised more than 470 local brands over the past two decades.

Ms Chew Lee Ching, chairman of the award organising committee, praised previous winners such as White Restaurant, which she noted had seen an increase in takeaway and delivery orders during the circuit breaker period last year.

The eatery, which is known for its signature white beehoon dish, worked with Oddle, an online food delivery platform, to implement a system for order taking, delivery and marketing.

Around 50 per cent of its sales now come through this platform, said Ms Chew, noting that "the brand's digitalisation investment has certainly paid off".

Ms Goh Sin Hwee, co-chairman of the award organising committee, said: "Many enterprises and business owners have experienced challenging and difficult ordeals since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"No matter the kind of business or industry - be it a family or heritage business, or even a start-up - companies have had to take this time to rediscover their capabilities and improve on them, as well as chart out future development plans."

Ms Goh, who is also associate editor of Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese newspaper division, said the awards seek to recognise deserving local enterprises that have overcome setbacks and transformed their business, adding: "We earnestly encourage brands to join and embark on the award journey."