The COVID-19 crisis brought impact on many unprepared businesses. The outbreak of the crisis force companies to shift to hybrid working models and this has been particularly challenging for companies who initially planned to expand internationally. As such, many have been forced to put a stop on their overseas expansion strategy.
However, this pandemic also served as an opportunity for Singapore businesses. With the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive an international boost to assist with their overseas expansion.
The MRA grant provides subsidies of up to 70% of the eligible costs, capped at $100,000 per company per new market* that covers three main components:
Overseas market promotion (capped at $20,000)
Overseas business development (capped at $50,000)
Overseas market set-up (capped at $30,000)
Companies need to note that each application is limited to only one activity in a single overseas market such as trade fair in Germany or IP application in China. Retrospective applications are not accepted. If the company has already signed an engagement letter/made first payment or commenced the project with the third-party consultant before receiving any Letter of Offer, the application will automatically be rejected. Companies must also submit the applications no earlier than six months of project start date.
The supportable activities are listed in the tables below.
OVERSEAS MARKETING PROMOTION
Overseas Marketing and PR activities
Third-party costs incurred for:
Participation in Overseas Physical and Virtual Trade Fairs NOT supported under LEAD International Fairs & Missions
Overseas Physical Trade Fairs
Third-party costs charged by Event Organisers relating to:
Virtual Trade Fairs
Packaged fees charged by Event Organisers relating to:
Third party costs relating to:
OVERSEAS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Third-party costs incurred to identify potential partners and/or customers (B2B) including the following:
Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)
Project-specific eligible expenses:
In-market Business Development
Third party costs relating to subscription costs of outsourced BD services for up to 12 months
Activities could include:
OVERSEAS MARKET SET-UP
Advisory, legal and documentation expenses relating to
In-depth FTA Consultancy
Consultancy, advisory and legal expenses relating to:
Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore
New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years
At least 30% local shareholding
Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company's Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees
Proof of completion is required for all claimable activities within 3 months from project end date. An independent auditor must verify all the expenses as well. Fortunately, an audit grant fee capped at $500 or 70% of the audit fee is provided too, which reduces the company’s costs and maximise the grant received.
However, the claims process can be tedious as detailed event write-ups, reports on market updates, documentation of business meetings may be required for certain activities. The mistakes made in the submissions can also result to application failure which can hinder the overseas marketing promotions or disbursement process. At K.Merleone, we have high success rate for grants application and we are able to provide grants advisory that is catered to your needs. Aside from FTA consultancy which requires FTA consultants, K.Merleone is able to advise companies on all other marketing activities.
For all business owners who are seeking to tap on government grants fuss-free, contact us now at info@kmerleone or +65 8010 1470.