Update: Support for COVID-19 continuity measures under the Productivity Solutions Grant ceased on 31 December 2020
Instead, you can read about other types of eligible expenses under the Productivity Solutions Grant such as for Digital Solutions, including accounting software, cloud storage, file management and sharing software, design software, customer relations management software, enterprise resource planning/business management software and more.
There’s a reason why Singapore has built an infrastructure capable of supporting the second fastest internet speed in the world. Today, especially in digitally-connected Singapore, it’s virtually impossible to operate a business without a laptop or some form of tech device.
The government in Singapore recognises this as well, with its diverse schemes helping businesses to defray the cost of going digital. One of the primary schemes businesses can tap on is the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) – supporting the adoption of tech solutions, equipment and consultancy services.
Read Also: Guide To Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
Enhanced Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) In 2020
In 2020, in its efforts to combat the COVID-19-led downturn, the government also enhanced funding support on the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.
In addition, it also extended the scope of support to COVID-19 business continuity solutions. This includes online collaboration tools, amongst others, and offers funding support for up to 3 laptops bundled with Microsoft 365 to achieve remote working capabilities.
One thing we have to note at this point is that the support for COVID-19 continuity measures will cease on 31 December 2020. This means companies must submit their applications before 31 December 2020 to be eligible for funding.
What Kind Of Laptops Can You Buy? And How Much Do They Cost?
If your employees already have laptops or you have allowed them to bring their desktops home, you are not compelled to purchase a new laptop. In this case, you will still be eligible for funding if you only want to onboard remote working solutions such as Microsoft 365 or G Suite (by Google).
For those that want to purchase new laptops or give their employees a laptop, here are some of the options available. We found that you can purchase a variety of laptops with the vendors listed on the Go Business GovAssist website:
Axion IT Solutions Pte Ltd
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,926.00
Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel)
- Apple MacBook Pro 13” + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $2,367.48.29 (Qualifying Cost that will be co-funded under the grant is $1,689.48)
M1 Net Limited
- Apple MacBook Pro + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $3,087.29 (Qualifying Cost that will be co-funded under the grant is $1,687.29)
- Apple MacBook Pro 13 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $2,179.00 (Qualifying Cost that will be co-funded under the grant is $1,689.48)
Lenovo Singapore Pte Ltd
- Lenovo ThinkBook + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,587.85
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,447.67
ChassAsia (Singapore) Pte Ltd
- Lenovo ThinkPad L13 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,572.00
- HP ProBook 430 + 1 year Office 365 E3 Subscription – $1,831.00
*Note that this is for Office 365 E3
- Acer Laptop (no models mentioned) + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,489.91
NTC Integration Pte Ltd
- HP ProBook 430 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,598.00
VGC Technology Pte Ltd
- Dell 3410 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Premium – $2,135.60 (Qualifying Cost that will be co-funded under the grant is $1,799.60)
*Note that this is for Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Adventus Singapore Pte Ltd
- Dell 3410 + 1 year Microsoft 365 Business Standard – $1,560.00
As you can see, some of the vendors are quite established – SingTel and M1 – and many of the others aren’t as well-known. While it’s logical to want to deal with the more established names, we don’t think this should be a barrier as these are pre-approved vendors.
The next thing to note is that there are more vendors listed on the website, but having looked through the various bundle deals, these are the ones we found to provide more transparent information about their laptops on offer.
Some vendors do not even specify the laptop you will receive or may provide multiple laptop details. While there’s nothing wrong with this, if you prefer knowing which laptops you want to get, you may want to avoid these vendors or bundles. If you’re not as picky, you can look through those bundles to find a deal as well.
Prices for the same laptops may also vary, sometimes it may be due to a higher specification version or because of add-ons provided, but not always. Look into the specifications as the same laptops may be on offer for different prices.
To find out how much the laptops are being priced, we can look at standalone deals that only offering the Microsoft 365 software. By deducting the software cost, you can figure out how much you’re paying for the laptop. Note that prices for the same software can also differ from vendor to vendor, for the exact same software as well. Here are some of the prices we found:
- 1-year Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs $186.
- 1-year Office 365 E3 subscription costs $336.00.
- 1-year Microsoft 365 Business Premium, it costs $308.41.
Overall, we found the listings to be quite complicated, and pricing to not be very transparent. So we advise that you be more attentive when you browse and select your vendor.
Outside of this, we also found out that some vendors offer commissions for referrals, so listed prices that have actually already been pre-approved for Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) funding may not be the most competitive.
Step-By-Step Guide To Purchase The (Up To 3) Laptops
#1 Go To The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) Page On The Go Business GovAssist website
To get your laptops, you need to first identify the solution you are applying for on the Go Business GovAssist website. On the website, within the Productivity Solutions Grant page, this is listed as Pre-scoped IT Solution.
#2 Find The Laptop Bundled Solution For Remote Working
Next, click on the industry that your business is in. Regardless of the industry, you will be able to apply for Remote Working – Online Collaboration Tools (Part 1) and Remote Working – Online Collaboration Tools (Part 1). Browse through both drop-down options to search for the bundle you are most interested to get.
Remember, because it is for the purpose of building remote working capabilities in your business, it will come bundled with Microsoft 365 – which has Microsoft Teams. Some solutions come with a laptop and some with just the software.
#3 Get A Quotation From The Vendor
After finding the bundle you want to apply to, get a quotation from the vendor. The contact details of each vendor is listed on the website.
Here is an example of a solution:
You should look for the bundle that you want, and contact the vendor directly for a quotation before applying for the grant.
#4 Submit Your Application On The Business Grants Portal (BGP)
This is broken down into a few steps more before you can proceed to buy your new laptop (it’s never made easy). We’ll provide an overview below, but in case you want more details, you can refer to Enterprise Singapore’s step-by-step guide.
i. Application Submission
There are 8 simple steps to submitting your new Productivity Solutions Grant application. Probably the only field you have to complete that isn’t so straightforward is to give details about the overall impact and productivity gains the purchase will bring. This includes questions like “Describe how the solution will change the way you do things?”, as well as “What tasks will be more efficient?” and “How much more efficient?”
ii. Acceptance of Letter of Offer (LOF)
Very straightforward again – you basically just have to accept the letter of offer. Only one thing that may potentially throw a spanner in the works – after logging in with your CorpPass, only users with an Acceptor role for MTI – Business Grants Portal can accept the letter of offer.
Go ahead to purchase the approved bundle.
iii. Claims Submission
6 more easy (and final) steps to filing your claims after making your laptop purchase. You also have to provide updates on the positive business outcomes from the purchase, including which tasks will be more efficient now, how much more efficient, and how many man hours you potentially saved.
Eligibility For The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
Finally, you need to be eligible in order to enjoy this PSG grant:
- your business must be registered in Singapore
- your business must have at least 30% local shareholding
- use the remote working solution in Singapore
- you must not have
- made any payment to vendor or third-party in relation to the purchase
- signed any contract with the vendor or third-party in relation to the purchase
Need Financing Support During This Period?
From now till 31 March 2021, SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $5 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme.
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