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Government stepping up efforts to reach out to more SMEs

The government is stepping up efforts to reach out to more small and medium enterprises to help them grow and overcome manpower and other constraints.

SINGAPORE: The government is stepping up efforts to reach out to more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them grow and overcome manpower and other constraints.

Labour chief Lim Swee Say hopes more such firms can benefit from the S$100 million Inclusive Growth Programme that co-funds initiatives to provide workers with better pay and more structured career progression pathways.

About half of that amount, or S$50 million, has been committed.

Mr Lim on Monday visited one such SME, Eighteen Chefs, a restaurant at Tiong Bahru Plaza which has joined the programme.

The programme has helped the SME purchase better equipment to enhance productivity.

Among them are an iPad to improve order-taking and a machine that speeds up the cooking of eggs. Such equipment have also been installed at the company's two other outlets at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and The Cathay at Handy Road.

Productivity gains last year after the introduction of the new equipment have already seen better business and increased revenue, resulting in the company paying two months’ bonus to its entire staff.

A new customised approach by the authorities saw some companies from the F&B sector visiting the restaurant.

Mr Lim said: "There is no shortcut, you cannot just make a big announcement to 100 SMEs and expect them to come forward, but rather we are doing a narrow casting, reach out to five, or seven of them in small groups and hopefully, the success of the early adopters will encourage the rest to come forward."

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