- POSTED: 04 Jan 2014 16:05
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A centre will be set up to provide advice to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on how they can upgrade themselves and do better. It will be located in Ang Mo Kio Community Centre.
SINGAPORE: Ang Mo Kio Community Centre will soon house a new centre to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In Ang Mo Kio GRC, 87 percent of its some 10,000 registered businesses are micro and small enterprises.
A common misconception among them is that government assistance is only available for large businesses, while others may want to boost their capabilities, but do not have the know-how to do so.
The new centre - the first to be set up in a community centre - can help them upgrade and do better.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reassured SMEs that the government will do its utmost to help them to upgrade and adapt to the new economy.
He said: "The last few years have been difficult for SMEs, because the economy is changing, foreign workers are hard to get. We would like to try and help SMEs to be able to continue to thrive and succeed in Singapore."
Measures to help SMEs are already being carried out at a national level, through tax rebates and funding to increase productivity.
On-the-ground efforts like the new centre at Ang Mo Kio - slated to open in the first quarter of this year - can make a difference to smaller businesses.
Ong Jun Quan, assistant director at Soon Li Heng Civil Engineering, said: "(The centre) will be good for the SMEs. It's a common point for them to gather together and voice out some their problems and issues."
The SME centre at Ang Mo Kio is the sixth satellite SME centre to be set up.
It will be managed by the SME centre at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) and supported by Ang Mo Kio Community Centre.
Besides the SME centres, SPRING Singapore also works with various chambers of commerce and trade associations to support SMEs on a sectoral basis.
Mr Lee noted that 2013 was a good year, when Singapore's economy did well and workers' salaries went up.
The prime minister also praised SMEs for continuing to contribute despite facing challenges.
He was speaking at a bursary award ceremony on Saturday in Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC. Mr Lee is a Member of Parliament for the GRC.
Mr Lee pointed out that many of the donors who contributed to the Teck Ghee welfare fund - which pays out these bursaries to students who did well in school - are SMEs.
493 students in Teck Ghee received the bursary awards.
Richard Tan, whose daughter Vanessa received a bursary award, said: "Probably for a start, just for her to save and subsequently if there's any need for her to buy any books or assessment (materials), I will encourage her to use that money (from the bursary award)."