Lack of cheap labour killing our SMEs (?)


kklee

New Member
Aug 13, 2004
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#2
Productivity is like that.
 

Foxshade

New Member
Jun 26, 2009
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In cat's stomach
#3
Learn from history... Lack of slaves kills the pharaoh's empire.....
Man, my history teacher will get nightmare tonight... :bsmilie:
 

silgt

New Member
Apr 23, 2009
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#4
As a SME business owner, it's not as simple as what this thread title said. It's not just the availability of cheap labor that's hurting SME but rather the control of labor by MoM. Often time it's just impossible to hire locals to do the job due to far too many factors. I remembered the time when the foreign worker's levy was $210/mth just a few short years ago. Now it's 4-figures and we have a strict quota to meet. I would say it's these high "additional" cost and strict control of labor by the authorities that's killing our SME. Singapore will NEVER be an entrepreneur hub like Hong Kong...sad because we have so much going for us!
 

Foxshade

New Member
Jun 26, 2009
849
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#5
As a SME business owner, it's not as simple as what this thread title said. It's not just the availability of cheap labor that's hurting SME but rather the control of labor by MoM. Often time it's just impossible to hire locals to do the job due to far too many factors. I remembered the time when the foreign worker's levy was $210/mth just a few short years ago. Now it's 4-figures and we have a strict quota to meet. I would say it's these high "additional" cost and strict control of labor by the authorities that's killing our SME. Singapore will NEVER be an entrepreneur hub like Hong Kong...sad because we have so much going for us!
Exactly my sentiment. Putting whole reason for the death of SME into single factor is totally illogical at so many levels.
 

silgt

New Member
Apr 23, 2009
227
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#6
Unfortunately people who set these regulations and imposed the high cost have zero understanding of the factors affecting running a typical SME. Imposing 5x the worker's levy is totally unjustified not that we are trying to protect any segment of the work force simply because our locals just refused to accept those jobs (I often tear my hair out while having my local employee that it became a joke and a chore maintaining them). To make Singapore a regional shopping/entertainment/tourist hub, we need a healthy and thriving small businesses to get the economy buzzing and make us an attractive spot to foreigners with cash to burn. I see fellow SME owners falling like Autumn leaves and that's just sad imo. I had to first restructure then closed down my popular and profitable business simply because I could not expand on my (then) existing business while operating cost are creeping up at a crazily fast rate (many developers have no second thoughts about increasing the rents and forces you out of business, simply because they can).

Happy to say now I'm operating a global distribution business from my home based office without relying on any external labour and/or being subjected to my landlords greed. Cash flow has never been better in the past 15 years...unfortunately some good hardworking and honest people got trapped and never recovered :(
 

Last edited:

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
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lil red dot
#7
I know a couple of restaurant owners who are running very profitable restaurants. They are forced to close their restaurants due to inability to hire service staff due to restrictions in WP, and locals are not willing to take up these jobs, even with much higher than average wages offered.
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
10,961
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#8
Expect SME's to consolidate and a number to close down, to adjust to the higher business costs and labour crunch. The stronger SME's will survive, and the higher costs of doing business will eventually be passed on to the consumer.
 

Yutaka Go

Senior Member
May 22, 2010
983
7
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SG
#9
In SG, rent are high so the SME try to sustain their business with cheap labor. The root cause is high rent and not cheap labor.

Cost of living in SG is so high, who want to do the job if the pay is not at a realistic level that match the high cost of living.
 

hanzohattori

Senior Member
Apr 16, 2010
999
5
18
#10
In SG, rent are high so the SME try to sustain their business with cheap labor. The root cause is high rent and not cheap labor.

Cost of living in SG is so high, who want to do the job if the pay is not at a realistic level that match the high cost of living.
Maybe MoM honchos should do temp in restaurants once in a while :bsmilie:
 

#11
In SG, rent are high so the SME try to sustain their business with cheap labor. The root cause is high rent and not cheap labor.

Cost of living in SG is so high, who want to do the job if the pay is not at a realistic level that match the high cost of living.
The root of the problem is more in the lack of aunties to do the jobs. All the aunties want to do is to look pretty working in food courts and chatting up young Yan Tao like what we have here in KPT. :bsmilie:
 

#12

ArchRival

New Member
Sep 17, 2006
559
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#13
:bsmilie::bsmilie:

Ho ho ho, this kind of unsustainable business should all up lorry quickly.

:bsmilie:
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
11,692
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Upper Bukit Timah
Visit site
#14
Contrary to what they say, policies were formulated to get rid of businesses which they deem is inefficient and do not add value to this pure, sanitised and well-oiled money making machine.
 

Yutaka Go

Senior Member
May 22, 2010
983
7
18
SG
#16
The root of the problem is more in the lack of aunties to do the jobs. All the aunties want to do is to look pretty working in food courts and chatting up young Yan Tao like what we have here in KPT. :bsmilie:
Then you should suggest to the restaurant owners to offer these aunties free make up , good looking uniforms and free chat time with young Yan Tao, who visit the restaurant to eat :bsmilie:

These will solve the restaurant owners labor shortage issue :bsmilie:
 

#17
Then you should suggest to the restaurant owners to offer these aunties free make up , good looking uniforms and free chat time with young Yan Tao, who visit the restaurant to eat :bsmilie:

These will solve the restaurant owners labor shortage issue :bsmilie:
Like this can boh? :)

 

Bukitimah

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
1,268
6
38
Singapore
#18
In SG, rent are high so the SME try to sustain their business with cheap labor. The root cause is high rent and not cheap labor.

Cost of living in SG is so high, who want to do the job if the pay is not at a realistic level that match the high cost of living.
You are spot on!people willing to pay high rent because that is the market rate. However, when paying employee they compare FT and locals. That is the mindset we have here
 

Turbonetics

Senior Member
Feb 19, 2009
2,701
6
38
#20
Unfortunately people who set these regulations and imposed the high cost have zero understanding of the factors affecting running a typical SME. Imposing 5x the worker's levy is totally unjustified not that we are trying to protect any segment of the work force simply because our locals just refused to accept those jobs (I often tear my hair out while having my local employee that it became a joke and a chore maintaining them). To make Singapore a regional shopping/entertainment/tourist hub, we need a healthy and thriving small businesses to get the economy buzzing and make us an attractive spot to foreigners with cash to burn. I see fellow SME owners falling like Autumn leaves and that's just sad imo. I had to first restructure then closed down my popular and profitable business simply because I could not expand on my (then) existing business while operating cost are creeping up at a crazily fast rate (many developers have no second thoughts about increasing the rents and forces you out of business, simply because they can).

Happy to say now I'm operating a global distribution business from my home based office without relying on any external labour and/or being subjected to my landlords greed. Cash flow has never been better in the past 15 years...unfortunately some good hardworking and honest people got trapped and never recovered :(

agree with u and it seems that u are in retail business previously and lucky u got a new lobang.
SME are really hard to survive especially those who just started unless really got a good opportunities.
 

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