GRANTED! Playing the (Application Status) waiting game

Previously, we explained the different grant options available to F&B business owners in Singapore. In this post, Ishvinder gives us a couple of tips to smooth your grant application journey.

tl;dr:Unexpectedly long lead times can deal heavy unexpected costs to your business, so account for delays and make sure your application is clear and relevant. If you still have doubts about the specifics of application-writing, you can ask an expert at one of SPRING Singapore’s SME Centres.

When you've been in the same spot for a really long time
When you’ve been in the same spot for a really long time

Knowing what grants are available is all well and good, but there is no getting around the fact that the application process itself is going to take some time. Most government agencies tell you to expect a response in a month or so, but unexpected delays and missteps can extend this wait time significantly. Two common issues that could delay your application are:

  1. Making claims that are not supported by the grant

A surprisingly large number of applications try to claim for costs that do not qualify for grant support, such as operational costs (manpower, utility bills).

  1. Being unclear about your competitive advantage

Make it crystal-clear how the grant will help your business develop a strong competitive advantage.

Most of the time, upfront costs have to be paid by the applicants first, and the grant is paid out later. Any delays in grant approval mean that the business will have to ‘tank’ the costs of running for longer than planned. Long enough, and new businesses could be snuffed out by upfront costs that are too high to bear. The bottom line: be kiasu and manage your lead times carefully! Make sure that your application is as watertight as possible, and account for enough buffer time in case anything goes wrong.

Still not sure what you’re doing?

Then you might actually be better off leaving it to the experts. There are various companies offering business consultancy services, but it’s less well-known that SPRING Singapore’s SME Centres actually offer complimentary business consultations. That’s right – for a grand total of $0, you can arrange to meet a business consultant for advice on business strategy and grant matching.

In a 45-minute session, they can discuss your business needs, conduct a structured assessment and match you up with the most appropriate grant. The assessments are especially useful because you can attach it to your grant application as an optional (but highly recommended) support document! All you’ll need are your ACRA details and a list of ‘problem areas’ that you hope to use the grant for. If possible, you should try to group the issues in categories, such as training, technology adoption, or brand and marketing.

If you would like to contact Ishvinder with more questions or to enquire about a consultation, you can do so at [email protected].

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