Updated: 01/27/2014 22:51

Enhanced voucher scheme for SMEs

Enhanced voucher scheme for SMEs

Small-medium enterprises or SMEs will soon be able to boost their capabilities through an enhanced voucher scheme. 

Beginning March the 1st, they can apply for a $5,000 voucher, under the Innovation and Capability Voucher or ICV scheme. 

This will go towards offsetting their expenditure as they implement solutions in four areas: innovation, productivity, human resources development and financial management. 

This includes professional services, equipment and hardware, technical solutions and renovation works. 

Previously, the scheme only covered consultancy services for SMEs. 

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck announced the enhancement, following a walkabout at Alexandra Village this morning. 

He spoke to reporters after visiting businesses in the area and explained the move to enhance the ICV scheme. 

"Many of them felt that they actually know what they need to do with their businesses, and they also know what are the areas they have to improve on. What they really need is to buy their own equipment or computers for automation. Currently, the ICV is to hire a consultant to help them. Some may not need the consultants. So we intend to enhance the ICV to allow these SMEs to use the ICV to purchase computers or equipment to help them automate and become more productive."

Each SME can apply for up to two vouchers to implement solutions. 

Under the existing scheme, they're eligible for eight vouchers in total - the rest of which goes towards consultancy services. 

The scheme was first launched in July 2012, with a budget of 32 million dollars for four years. 

Another 10 million dollars will be pumped into the scheme, bringing the total budget to 42 million. 

To date, 3,000 vouchers have been distributed.

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