Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what are the reasons for the lower demand for SME grants in FY 2022/2023; (b) whether there are barriers encountered by potential beneficiaries in accessing and utilising these grants; and (c) what is the impact of this underutilisation on the intended outcomes and effectiveness of the grant schemes.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. The amount of support extended to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through capability-building grants like the Productivity Solutions Grant, the Enterprise Development Grant, and the Market Readiness Assistance Grant has doubled between 2019 and 2022. We have also seen a large number of applications in 2023 thus far. The number received in 2023 to date has already exceeded the number of applications received in 2019 over the same period of time.
2. We are glad that businesses are investing in capability development, innovation and internationalisation, and will continue to support them in their transformation journey.