Businesses will receive greater support in creating a family-friendly environment for their customers with the launch of a new 3-year, $4 million FamilyMatters@Business grant by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). Effective 1 April 2013, the new grant will replace the current $2.8 million Businesses for Families grant.
New FamilyMatters@Business Grant
First announced by Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Chan Chun Sing at the recent Committee of Supply, the FamilyMatters@Business Grant will help businesses defray costs incurred in creating a more welcoming environment for families. Supportable costs include infrastructure development, staff training and business process re-engineering.
The new grant will provide better support to businesses. Businesses with more than one outlet will be able to claim up to 70% of actual project cost, capped at $100,000. This is a 25% increase from the existing $80,000 cap. In addition, businesses can apply for the Grant a second time after a 5-year break, compared to the previous one-off grant. The disbursement schedule for the grant has also been improved to provide better support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Please see Annex A for the new funding guidelines and list of supportable items under the Grant.
Businesses for Families Mark
The FamilyMatters@Business Grant complements the work of the Businesses for Families Council (BFC) which oversees the Businesses for Families Mark, an accreditation programme for family-friendly businesses. As a first step, businesses may sign up as Pledgers and undertake a commitment to make their businesses more welcoming to families. Businesses that meet specific standards will be awarded the Mark. To date, there are more than 5,600 Pledgers and over 430 Markers. (Please see Annex B for more details on the BFC and its Businesses for Families Pledge and Mark initiatives.)
A survey conducted by BFC in 2012, affirmed the strong business case for family-friendly businesses. Businesses that are friendly to families with young children and elderly enjoy increased patronage, customer loyalty and revenue.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Social and Family Development said: “I am pleased that more businesses are coming on board to create a family-friendly environment for their customers. By making it more convenient and fun for us to shop, eat and play as a family, businesses can contribute towards making Singapore a better home for families. I encourage businesses to tap on the new FamilyMatters@Business Grant and to strive towards achieving the Businesses for Families accreditation mark. Apart from supporting businesses to create a family-friendly environment, MSF will be stepping up family education and promotion efforts at other touchpoints such as schools, workplaces and the community.”
Mrs Mildred Tan, Chairperson of the BFC noted: “Being family-friendly makes good business sense. It is a win-win for families and businesses. While families enjoy spending time together and having their needs met, businesses reap the rich potential of the enormous family market and enhanced customer loyalty. The Council is very encouraged by the take up rate of the previous Grant and will continue to work with MSF to encourage more businesses to apply for the new and enhanced Grant to welcome families as their customers.”
Businesses interested to find out more about the FamilyMatters@Business Grant can visit www.familymatters.sg and www.bfc.sg.
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
25 MARCH 2013