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Many sectors in Singapore, such as the food and beverage (F&B), retail, and engineering industries, are shying away from manual labour and resorting to technology. It is not surprising since you can speed up the process and make your work more manageable. It is the same case for the e-commerce industry, where you can utilise digital solutions to achieve your goals.
When setting up an e-commerce website, you will encounter many challenges, such as competing against other e-commerce businesses, managing a budget, and maintaining your search engine ranking. However, one of the biggest challenges in the e-commerce industry is adapting to the exclusivity of technology.
The goal of e-commerce is to conduct transactions through online and electronic means. Managing your tasks without using technology and digital solutions will be troublesome.
To support the SMEs Go Digital programme, the government introduced the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) that SME owners can tap on. The grant’s purpose is to encourage SMEs to adopt digital solutions and further improve their digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts. The PSG grant covers various industries, such as logistics, construction, and e-commerce.
ALSO READ: List Of Supportable Solutions
If you want to set up an online store, one of the first things you should consider is the number of tasks under your management. Data analytics, financial management, e-commerce web design, SEO services—these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to managing an e-commerce website.
By applying for the PSG grant, you will be able to receive support for your digitisation project. In addition, by engaging a pre-approved vendor, you are also engaging with a company that specialises in the respective industries. Hence, your digital transformation journey will be less challenging as well.
The Importance Of The Productivity Solutions Grant For Ecommerce
How does the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG grant benefit the e-commerce industry? What makes the Productivity Solutions Grant an integral part of e-commerce in Singapore?
GlobalData expects Singapore’s e-commerce market to grow further and reach S$14.2 billion by 2025 as COVID-19 restrictions ease and the economy gradually recovers. This potential growth is due to the rise in consumer spending and the government’s support for the e-commerce industry.
The benefits of the PSG grant are essential for SMEs, as they help physical stores transition from offline to online. It provides businesses with funding support to boost finances early on.
Singapore: A Nation Of Innovation
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit the most from the PSG grant. With up to 70% of funding support, applying for the PSG grant seems like the wisest choice to make, not only for SMEs but e-commerce websites as well.
What are the pros and cons of applying for the PSG grant? In reality, it is a truly worthwhile investment for your business. Singapore is already shaping up as one of the world’s most “business-friendly” countries. The Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG is just one example of why Singapore is revered as a top-tier country when it comes to economic growth.
Progress and innovation are two of Singapore’s most prominent selling points for investors. As proof, the government has extended the enhanced maximum support level of the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG, until March 31, 2022, to help more SMEs.
Then starting on April 1, 2022, PSG grant support will be capped at 70%, which will be applied across non-retail sectors. Only businesses from the retail sector can continue to enjoy the 80% funding support for selected PSG solutions from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Below are the PSG solution categories applicable for businesses in the retail sectors to enjoy up to 80% support:
- Enhanced Retail Management System
- Commercial Anti-Money Laundering (ML)/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (TF) Screening
- Retail Analytics
- E-Commerce – Online Shop (B2C)
As long as your business qualifies under the government-mandated criteria, you can apply for the PSG grant and gain access to a myriad of digital tools and equipment.
The government created the PSG grant with the hope of encouraging SME owners to utilise digital solutions and equipment. If you agree and want to apply for the PSG grant for your e-commerce business, you have to understand the importance and use of the PSG grant first.
What exactly is the Productivity Solutions Grant anyway, and how can it help your e-commerce website?
Part I – What Is The Productivity Solutions Grant?
The Government of Singapore has introduced the PSG grant to provide SMEs with up to 70% of funding support. The purpose behind this plan is to establish the country as a digital-centric nation, one that embraces technology and equipment as opposed to manual labour. Even though providing businesses with the PSG grant support does not eliminate the physical work in your work operations it enhances efficiency and productivity with the help of technology.
Besides proving that Singapore is ready for the future of digitised businesses, the purpose of applying for the PSG grant is to receive a grant and gain access to a variety of e-commerce solutions for your e-commerce business. In doing so, you have enough money to financially support various areas of your e-commerce business, such as website creation, website revamp and website maintenance.
The government encourages entrepreneurs to apply for the PSG grant to experience the benefits of e-commerce solutions. If you want to apply for e-commerce PSG solutions for your e-commerce website, make sure your business is eligible based on the criteria provided by the government.
Here is a list of qualifications to consider so you can gain access to the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG grant for your e-commerce business.
The Eligibility Criteria For The Productivity Solutions Grant
1. Registered And Operating Business In Singapore
Your e-commerce business should be a registered entity in Singapore. Otherwise, there is no point in applying for the PSG grant if your business does not operate in Singapore. You have to register your business as an incorporated establishment in Singapore to apply for the PSG grant.
2. Purchase/Lease/Subscription Of The IT Solutions Or Equipment Will Be Used In Singapore
If you plan to use or subscribe to any equipment or digital solutions, the funding support you will receive should be used in Singapore.
Also, requesting grant support for a contract with a third-party vendor or supplier who is not a pre-approved solution provider is not eligible for the PSG grant support claims. Avoid engaging with a non-pre approved third-party vendors or suppliers if you want to apply for the PSG grant
3. A minimum of 30% local shareholding; with the Company’s Group annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million, OR employee size of not more than 200 workers
This criteria also applies to e-commerce businesses. Your website may need specific tools to get enhanced and developed, which is attainable with the help of the PSG grant.
As long as your online store has 30% of the local shareholding, a low turnover rate, and employee size, you are eligible for this criteria. That means you can utilise different tools to develop your e-commerce website and improve its performance. However, this rule also applies to selected solutions, so keep that in mind.
Part II – Productivity Solutions Grant: What Can It Do For Your E-Commerce Website?
The Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG grant works best for SMEs in many sectors. Retail, food, engineering, and wholesale— are the industries that benefit the most from applying for the PSG grant. With the approval of the Singaporean Government, your small business already has more room for the potential to succeed and gain traction, thanks to the 70% funding support from your approved PSG grant.
However, with all this talk about how the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG can do wonders for various industries, can we say that it also applies to ecommerce? Yes, you can get the PSG as long as your online store qualifies for the given criteria. The 70% funding support will aid you in your e-commerce business operations.
Applying for the PSG grant is highly recommended for kickstarting an online store. You can access different tools and solutions at a lower rate to develop a high-quality e-commerce website. You could also incorporate SEO services to make worthwhile investments using your funds. Doing so allows you to reach your target audience and get better web visibility.
The Benefits Of PSG Grant For E-Commerce
1. Let Your Business Go Digital And Expand Your Reach Globally
The time to go digital has come. With more people shopping online for their needs rather than in person, businesses had no other choice but to tap onto digital platforms.
As the business’s world rule of thumb, be where your customers are. That is the only way for SMEs to attract customers, make sales, and, most importantly, stay afloat in the current situation.
Letting your business go digital is not limited to having social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Eventually, as your business grows, you will need to have an e-commerce website so you can display your niche more comprehensively. You can add more details about your products or services and include images or videos to nudge them to take action.
An e-commerce website is a platform where you can sell your products or services more intensively. As long as your e-commerce website becomes more visible and accessible on search engine results pages (SERPs), you can expand your market globally.
The good news is that the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG grant for E-Commerce can help you when you go digital. As long as you engage with an approved PSG vendor and use the funding support for website creation or revamp, growing your customer base will not be a problem.
2. Empower Purchases Anytime, Anywhere
Once a business transitions its operation to e-commerce, they empower the convenience of online shopping. Any potential customers can shop for anything whenever they want and wherever they are as long as they have a stable internet connection.
When you apply for an e-commerce grant in Singapore and receive support funding, you can expect your chosen pre-approved PSG vendor to create an e-commerce website that is accessible to anyone worldwide. With this, they can go on a shopping spree regardless of the time difference between countries.
3. Implement Digital Marketing To Drive Traffic To Your E-commerce Website And Increase Sales
Having an e-commerce website alone is not enough. Your potential customers will not know that your e-commerce business exists if they are not aware of your website on SERPs.
To increase your brand awareness and your e-commerce website’s web visibility, you need to implement digital marketing strategies to drive traffic and increase sales. Good thing there is the Productivity Solutions Grants or PSG grant for digital marketing solutions where you can also receive up to 70% grant support..
The more digital presence your e-commerce business has, the more credibility in the perspective of your potential customers. This will influence your potential customers to consider getting your products or services. Eventually, your e-commerce website can also be your asset in leading your potential customers to drop by your brick-and-mortar store in person and make a purchase creating a loyalty loop.
4. Improve Operational Processes
The best part about the PSG grant is that you can use it to improve your e-commerce operational processes. If your e-commerce website has poor website navigation, your chosen pre-approve PSG vendor for the e-commerce solution can revamp the layout and add more essential features such as:
- Stock management
- Delivery option
- Managing and segmenting customers
The digitalisation of your e-commerce website will make your business process a lot easier to manage and operate.
5. 24/7 Store That Never Sleeps
Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce websites do not have closing hours. That means your potential customers can enjoy browsing through your web pages and make a purchase anytime, operating at different time zones as long as there is access to the internet.
6. Increase Profits By Reducing Operational Expenses
Once your business completely embraces digitalisation and transition to e-commerce, you can reduce the cost of the operation cost of managing a physical store(no physical store rental fees and utility bills). After all, an e-commerce website does not need all of that.
To increase your chances of making a profit is improving the navigation process of your e-commerce website so your potential customers will not have a hard time browsing through your web page and finding what they want to get.
Part III – How To Apply For the PSG Grant?
The government is aware of the impact of COVID-19 on enterprises across all industries in Singapore. Fortunately, with the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG, the government has been implementing measures to help businesses stay afloat. Starting from 1st April 2022 onward, SMEs can get up to 70% grant support. *Only SEMs in retail sectors are eligible to receive up to 80% funding support until 31 March 2023
Whether you are using a laptop or a high-end computer, what matters is you are using efficient tools for both SEO services and ecommerce. As long as the government continues supporting the SMEs with the PSG grant, you can apply for the PSG grant application for your ecommerce website solutions.
A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Apply For The PSG Grant
Step 1: Go To Business Grant Portal (BGP) & Log In Using CorpPass
To start your application for the PSG grant, go to the Business Grant Portal and log in using the CorpPass of your business.
Step 2: Find The Applications Tab & Click On ‘Get New Grant’
After you have logged in with the CorpPass of your business, go to “My Grants” and find the “Applications” tab. Following that, new options will appear, such as “Edit Company Profile”, “Get New Grant”, or “Learn to Apply”.
Choose the middle option, “Get New Grant”, from the three options.
Step 3: Choose The Industry Sector Of Your Business
Once you have clicked on the “Get New Grant” tab, another web page will load where you can choose the industry sector of your business.
Make sure to choose among the following industry sectors listed on the page.
Step 4: I Need This Grant To
Afterwards, you will proceed to the next step. Here, you will also have to choose between two options: bring your business overseas or upgrade your business’s key areas. But since the PSG grant can only be used/leased/purchased in Singapore, make sure to choose the second option.
Once you are finished, click the “Next” button.
Step 5: Tick The “Pre-scoped Productivity Solutions” Box & Click On The “Apply” Button
Another slide will appear where you have to answer how you will use the PSG for the development of your business. Since you are applying for the PSG grant, choose the first option: Pre-scoped Productivity Solutions, and click on the “Apply” button.
Step 6: Tap The “Proceed” Button
After you have clicked the “Apply” button, tap the Proceed button to start filling up the PSG grant application form.
Step 7: Review The Eligibility Criteria
Before you can fill out the PSG grant application form with all of your information, you will be asked to check your eligibility.
On the “Eligibility” tab, read the following eligibility criteria. Then tick yes once you have confirmed you are eligible to apply for the PSG grant.
Then click on the Next button to proceed to the next step.
Step 8: Fill In Your Contact Information
Provide the updated and correct contact information of the main person who will manage the PSG grant application of your business so that the government personnel can reach out to you.
Step 9: Add The Mailing Address
After filling in the main person’s contact information, you will be asked to add the mailing address. Tick the box if you deem it to be the same as the registered address saved in the Company Profile if it is.
In addition to the primary contact person’s email address, the mailing address you added is where you will also receive notification about your PSG grant application.
Step 10: Write Down The Details Of The Letter Of Offer Addressee
You do not have to write down any details if the addressee and the main contact person are the same. Only tick the box and click on the Next button.
However, if the addressee is a different person, make sure they are the authorised representative of the company registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Step 11: Submit The PSG Grant Proposal
Before submitting your PSG grant proposal, you need to choose what type of solution you are going to apply with the PSG grant. The following are two search methods you can use.
A. Search the name of the solution package you know. Make sure you know the exact name of the solution.
B. You could also look for the name of your preferred pre-approved PSG vendor. Then underneath their name, there will be another box where you can see all the available solutions that your preferred pre-approved PSG vendor offers.
For example, if you plan to apply for the PSG grant for your digital marketing solutions and want to engage OOm, type either of the following digital marketing grant packages. Alternatively, you can select the vendor company and the portal will show you the list of solutions that the pre-approved vendor offers.
Afterwards, explain the reason why you need the IT solution you choose, and your business deserves to get the PSG grant within 500 characters.
Step 12: Upload The PSG Grant Proposal & Supporting Documents
After indicating the date when you plan to use the IT solution and the number of units, make sure to upload your PSG grant proposal provided by the vendor along with the required supporting documents if applicable.
Read the image below to know what the other papers are.
Step 13: Choose The Deployment Location
Indicate the deployment location where you plan to use the IT solution you will get. Select one of the options in the drop-down menu.
If the location of the deployment is the same as your ACRA registered address, click Yes. If not, click “No” and key in the location of deployment. Then click the “Next” button.
Step 14: Check The Cost Details
At this page, based on the solution and the number of units you have indicated in the previous form, the system will provide you with the total cost details. You should check on the cost indicated and confirm before you proceed to the next page.
Step 15: Explain The Business Impact
Within 500 characters, explain and describe how your chosen IT solution and the PSG grant will impact your company.
Step 16: Declare, Review, Acknowledge & Submit
On the “Declare & Review” tab, you need to read and answer the 11 questions first before agreeing to the “Content & Acknowledgement”. Once you have reviewed and double-checked everything, click on the “Review” button at the bottom.
PSG Application: Factors To Consider
As a Singapore-based online store owner, applying for the PSG may be one of the best decisions you can make for your business. Doing so at the earliest opportunity is an excellent way to access various efficient tools. Apart from submitting your PSG application and choosing the IT solutions for your ecommerce website, there are other factors to consider when applying for the PSG.
1. Honesty And Transparency
When applying for the PSG, being qualified is just one of the many ways to get approval. One essential part of your ecommerce website is its credibility and reputation. You need to earn trust before you can get a confirmation.
Establish your credibility by submitting documents and proof that your online business is a registered entity in Singapore. Submit a copy of all the required documents to prove that you are worth trusting.
2. Boosting The Country’s Economy
SMEs are the driving force behind the economic growth of Singapore. Around 99% of enterprises are SMEs that contribute to nearly half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Perhaps you can let your ecommerce business be a part of the Singapore economy and its economic boom?
Take part in the country’s growing economy by requesting a PSG that helps in supporting the government’s mission to establish a more digital-focused nation. Not to mention, with COVID-19 as an existing threat, the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG is becoming more relevant than ever by providing people with more options to utilise digital solutions.
Other Government Grants
The PSG is not the only grant mandated by the government. There are loads of different government grants that can cut through expenses and offer more room for improvement.
Besides PSG, here are the other government grants you may want to consider getting for your ecommerce business.
- The Enterprise Development Grant
Enterprise Singapore administers the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), which aims to help SMEs grow their businesses and establish brand awareness both locally and internationally.
In addition to that, the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) combines the Capability Development Grant (CDG) and the Global Company Partnership (GCP) grants. That is why SMEs can claim up to 90% of the cost.
To learn how to apply for EDG, here is an overview of EDG made by Enterprise Singapore.
- Market Readiness Assistance
The Market Readiness Aid (MRA) Grant provides financial assistance that helps SMEs expand their business overseas. And last year, Enterprise Singapore announced that they will provide up to 70% till March 31, 2023.
With that amount of financial assistance, any SME can help their business get international recognition and set up a market on a global scale.
- StartUp SG Founder
As part of making Singapore a digital-focused nation, this government grant called Startup SG Founder came into existence to help first-time entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs with outstandingly unique concepts who applied for the Startup SG Founder grant can receive mentorship and monetary support through this programme.
Read this press release for more details about the StartUp SG Founder grant.
- Career Support Programme
Meanwhile, the Career Support Programme is a government grant under Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (NTUC’s e2i). They introduced the Career Support Programme to encourage employers to hire qualified Singaporean professionals.
Go to WSG or read these FAQs for the Career Support Programme.
- Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Scheme
Lastly, this government grant is under the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and they provide financial assistance to SMEs to cultivate their creations and innovations for their customers.
However, MAS mentioned that the FSTI will only be available and valid until March 2023. Here are the details about FSTI to learn more.
With the number of tools available, there is no doubt that applying for the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG is the best way to kickstart your online business. You can choose a software program that suits your needs and even generate revenue instantly, thanks to approximately 70% funding support.
With the PSG grant, you can get ahead of your competitors and gain traction to make your presence known. Nonetheless, some of the parts of the Productivity Solutions Grant or PSG is utilising efficient SEO tools that can pave the way for the future of your online store.
We understand that the ecommerce industry is highly competitive, which is why you should consider requesting a grant from the government to get things going. The significant boost in your funds and the use of effective tools might be just what you need to increase your search engine rankings and improve your online presence.
To learn more about PSG grant, get in touch with our ecommerce SEO agency. As a pre-approved PSG grant vendor for both ecommerce and digital marketing solutions, we may be able to answer all of your inquiries. Contact OOm anytime at 6391-0930.