SMALL- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need help with near-term issues like financing, as well as support for long-term measures like technology adoption, in order to stay sustainable and grow, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) SME Committee said on Tuesday.
SBF cited its National Business Survey 2019/2020 released last week, which found that SMEs know they need to adopt digital solutions to tackle their top challenges of manpower costs and finding new or better ways to generate revenue, but costs remain the biggest roadblock. This is further compounded by financing difficulties, with one-third of the businesses reporting a credit crunch.
Noting that business sentiment remains weak for 2020 despite forecasts for Singapore’s economic growth to pick up modestly as compared to 2019, the committee called for increased liquidity through new schemes and greater access to digital solutions to help businesses better position themselves for the global economy’s next upswing.
“Our businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of innovation and transformation, as reflected in the latest SBF National Business Survey,” said Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF. “We hope the government can build on that momentum with robust measures that encourage, support and strengthen the digitalisation and R&D (research and development) efforts of our companies. This will position them well for the future economy.