Business Improvement Fund | BIF
The tourism industry is facing many serious challenges in the current economy. Traveling restriction, social distancing, high labor cost, high operating cost, declining visitors and demanding customers are just some challenges of the industry faced in Singapore. With no end in sight for COVID 19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for the tourism industry to reinvent itself to survive.
The Singapore Government and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) understands the challenges and has rolled out a series of assistance to the industry. One of the programs is the Business Improvement Fund (BIF). It is a grant administered by the STB which aims to encourage technology innovation and adoption, redesign of business models and processes in the tourism sector to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) vs Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
The Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) Business Improvement Fund (BIF) is a subset of the Enterprise Singapore’s Enterprise Development Grant (EDG Grant) and both are fully aligned. BIF supports projects that help the tourism sector upgrade the business or innovate, under the following pillars:
A. Core Capabilities
Projects under Core Capabilities help companies prepare for growth and transformation by strengthening their business foundations.
- Business Strategy Development
- Financial Management
- Human Capital Development
- Service Excellence
- Strategic Brand and Marketing Development
B. Innovation & Productivity
Projects under Innovation & Productivity support companies that explore new areas of growth or look for ways to enhance efficiency. These could include reviewing and redesigning workflow and processes. Companies could also tap into automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient.
- Process Redesign
- Product Development
Funding support varies for Small Medium Enterprise (SME) and non-SME.
Successful applicants will receive funding support for qualifying costs, subject to STB’s evaluation of the scope and merits of the project.
 At least 30% local (Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident) shareholding, and group annual sales turnover not more than S$100 million or group employment size not more than 200 employees.
Include third-party project-related costs such as professional services, testing and certification costs associated with the development of the solution and delivery of products, processes, and services meeting the desired standards, training costs that are an intrinsic component of the project, hardware/equipment and software associated with proposed business concept or system/process redesign, and travel costs associated with the project; and internal manpower cost (only applicable for Innovation & Productivity – Product Development).
Include hardware/equipment and software costs not related to the project (e.g. solutions for basic business functions), maintenance costs and marketing costs.
The BIF is open to all Singapore-registered businesses/companies embarking on projects with a clear tourism focus.
These companies are:
- Tourism companies taking on capability development initiatives
- Technology companies that create innovative technology products and services for tourism businesses.
Proposed projects will be assessed on how they improve productivity and competitiveness of tourism companies.
Please note that projects that have commenced prior to STB’s offer of the grant may not be eligible.
Step 1: Pre-Application
- Interested applicants are advised to declare if they are SME or non-SME and provide an executive summary of the proposed project to STB.
- An STB officer will be in touch to assist you further.
- The STB officer-in-charge of your project will advise if your proposed project is eligible for BIF support and to proceed with the application.
Step 2: Application
- Prepare the project proposal for submission with your application.
- Prepare the relevant quotations for cost items for submission with your application.
- Log on to the Business Grants Portal (BGP) with your CorpPass to apply for BIF.
- With complete information on hand, it should take about 30mins to complete the online application.
- Please note that all applications are subject to STB’s approval.
Disbursement Of Grant
Grants will be disbursed to successful applicants on a reimbursement basis, subject to achievement of the agreed project deliverables and milestones. Applicants are required to submit third-party audited documents on qualifying costs for the disbursement of grants, unless otherwise stated.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and Business Improvement Fund (BIF)?
The Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) Business Improvement Fund (BIF) supports projects that specifically help tourism companies to upgrade the business or innovate, while Enterprise Singapore’s Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) support projects across all industries. BIF is fully aligned with EDG.
2. Can Tourism related businesses apply both Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and Business Improvement Fund (BIF) concurrently?
No, a company can only apply for one Grant at a time. Tourism companies should consider applying Business Improvement Fund (BIF) as it is designed for them.
3. What must be included in the Business Improvement Fund (BIF) Project Proposal Objectives?
- The current state of your business operations or processes need to be elaborated, highlighting the challenges faced or opportunities identified and how these will be addressed by the proposed project.
- The project description on how to resolve the challenges identified, improve current processes, and/or allow your company to seize new opportunities.
4. What must be included in the Business Improvement Fund (BIF) Project Proposal Impact?
- The description of the expected process/workflow improvements arising from the project, detailing the time/cost/manpower savings etc. being tracked for improvement.
- Qualitative and quantitative outcomes expected from the project
- Quantitative outcomes, e.g.:
- Reduce man-hours/headcounts
- Reduce costs
- Increase in revenue
- Qualitative outcomes, e.g.:
- new or improved process
- new strategy
- new products and services ideas
- stronger talent retention
- Quantitative outcomes, e.g.:
- The description of the capabilities that this project will help your company to build and how the project will contribute to your company’s growth plans.
- The description of the impact that this project will bring to the industry that your company is in (e.g. increased industry productivity, scalability to the rest of the industry), if applicable.
5. What are the additional requirements for Human Capital Development projects?
- Elaborate on how the project will enhance the company’s human resource functions and/or capabilities in attracting, developing, and retaining talent.
6. What are the additional requirements for Service Excellence projects?
- Elaborate on how the project will enhance the company’s service capabilities in one or more of the following areas:
- Helping your company to understand your customer needs and requirement.
- Enabling your employees to deliver the desired service experience to the customers.
- Enabling your customers to play a part in creating a good service experience.
- A quantitative estimate of the improvement in customer satisfaction score
Contact us now and our friendly customer service consultants will be in touch with your needs and requirements to conduct a preliminary assessment of your eligibility for the Business Improvement Fund ( BIF) or assist you in your STB Grant application.