Wednesday 20 June 2012

SMEs to benefit from free business advisers

Channel NewsAsia, 18 Jun 2012

Businesses in the North Eastern part of Singapore can now get free business advice and job matching services.

These new initiatives are part of a joint collaboration between the Association of Small to Medium Enterprises (ASME), SPRING Singapore and the North East Community Development Council.

Business advisers from the ASME will be seconded on a permanent basis to the Tampines head office of the North East Community Development Council (NECDC).

Two advisers will be attached to the North East Community Development Council to advise business owners on ways to improve their businesses.

These include both walk-ins and appointments.

The advisors will also help entrepreneurs leverage on various government grants available.

The scheme also aims to match job seekers in the community with businesses seeking manpower in a tight labour market.

This is aimed to also help bring business back to local shops and markets and help them stay competitive.

This is the first heartland business advisory service in Singapore, a satellite of the EDC@ASME program that has assisted 939 businesses in the first quarter of this year alone.

According to the president of the ASME, Mr Chan Chong Beng, more such offices could be launched in other districts.

The services provided at these sessions are designed for smaller SMEs which populate the district.

The North East CDC serves a population of over 800,000 residents in three Group Representative Constituencies (GRCs) and two Single Member Constituencies (SMCs).

They are Aljunied, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Tampines GRCs, Hougang and Punggol East SMCs.

Mayor for North East CDC Teo Ser Luck said: "I know it's tough for some shops or micro-enterprises to be able to innovate but nevertheless it's worth a try to see how we can actually help them do it. These schemes are there for them to tap on to re-look at the whole business process. One of the schemes actually helps them to bring in a consultant to re-look at their business and see what are the things that can be changed to help them become more competitive."

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