3 Grants for Your Business You May Not Know About

Jeff Cuellar



Pop quiz: What’s worse than a 90 year old’s circulation? Information about government grants, that’s what. Turns out there’s a lot of help for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Problem is, most have a low profile. So in this article, our new writer Jeffrey Cuellar highlights 3 grants not everyone may be aware of. See if any of these will lighten your business burdens:

Reading government information on grants available for your business is like trying to decipher hieroglyphs without the Rosetta Stone. Thankfully, we have an in-house team of archaeologists who decipher the language of “government” to make these grants easier to understand.

1. Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) 

What makes the PIC worth looking at is that it provides two options that reward you for the purchases and investments you make to improve your company’s productivity and innovation – from purchasing or leasing equipment to training your valuable staff.

Option 1: You can claim a tax deduction of 400% of the expenses (for a combined maximum of $800,000 for FY 2012 and $1,200,000 for FY 2013 – 2015) for each of the following six business activities:

  • Research and Development (R&D) projects
  • Intellectual Properties (IP) and Rights including designs, trademarks, patents, etc.
  • Purchase of IP for business usage
  • Purchase or leasing of equipment
  • Training of employees
  • Design projects

Option 2: You can convert up to $100,000 of your expenditures (ranging from $400 – $100,000) on any of the six business activities listed above towards a cash payout.

For FY 2011 – 2012 expenditures, up to 30% can be claimed for a cash payout of $30,000.*

*You can combine your FY 2011 and 2012 expenditures up to a total of $200,000 for a total cash payout of $60,000.

For FY 2013 – 2015, up to 60% can be claimed for a cash payout of $60,000.

To qualify for the cash payout option, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must meet the required expenditure amounts for FY 2011 – 2015.
  • You must employ at least three Singapore citizens and/or PRs and pay for CPF contributions.
  • Your business must be active in Singapore.

For more information on the PIC, click here.


2. Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP)

Like a thoughtful friend who pitches in for the bar tab, the government will pay up to 90% of the expenses related to improving the productivity of your business. The IGP provides up to $500,000 per year (or $150,000 per project) to co-fund your business expenses in order to raise the value of “low-wage employees” who earn less than $1,700 per month. So it’s a win-win for your business (more productivity) and your employees (who share in the financial success of your business).

To qualify for government grant assistance, your business must satisfy two important requirements for co-funding approval:

  1. You must demonstrate that the project(s) you want co-funding for will improve the efficiency of your operations, make your business more adaptable to changing market conditions and result in better products and/or services.
  2. You must share your productivity gains with your low-wage staff in the form of bonuses, salary increases, etc.

Once your business has been approved for co-funding, the IGP will cover up to 50% of your business expenses for the following:

  • Purchasing new equipment that automates your work processes.
  • Re-engineering current work processes to improve the productivity of your business.
  • Outsourcing the secondary processes of your business such as cleaning, security, etc. according to Best Sourcing Initiative (BCI) practices.
  • Registering any Intellectual Property (IP) and Rights resulting from processes or new products your business creates.

In addition, the IGP also covers up to 90% of the cost for training programmes focused on improving the productivity of your employees.

For more information on the IGP, click here.


3. Special Employment Credit (SEC)

Workers over 50 are still capable of providing a valuable contribution to today’s workforce. Just look at The Expendables. Most of them are over 50 and they are still capable of disemboweling men half their age! The SEC was designed to give you a little more incentive to add working-class veterans to your workforce.

By hiring workers age 50 and above, your business qualifies to receive a payout of 8% of every employee over 50 years of age earning up to $4,000 a month (the return for employees earning between $3,000 and $4,000 is less).

Here’s a breakdown of the return for each employee over 50 you hire:

Employee Income

SEC Payout per Month
















Qualification and payout for the SEC is done automatically by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, so all you have to do is hire someone over 50 years of age and make regular CPF contributions.

With the SEC, hiring employees over 50 not only adds some valuable experience to your business, but a little extra money as well.

For more information on the SEC, click here.


By Spending a Few Minutes, You Could Save a Fortune

These three government grants represent only the tip of the iceberg for government grants available for your business. Click here to find a full listing of available grants for your business. Want to find out other ways to help your business? Follow us on Facebook and we’ll provide you with more ninja business tips.


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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.