NTUC FairPrice has allocated S$30 million to accelerate payment to suppliers. This initiative will help ease cash flow of some 500 local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) identified under the FairPrice SME Assistance Programme. So far, 283 SMEs have taken up the offer to reduce payment terms by 30 days. More suppliers are expected to tap on this programme in the next few months.
The FairPrice SME Assistance Programme, which expires end December this year, includes early payment terms, discount on listing fees and advertisements, and assistance in promoting made in Singapore products. The programme is part of a holistic package initiated by NTUC FairPrice in January 2009 to help all its stakeholders cope with the downturn.
Mr Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of NTUC FairPrice, said: “Many of our suppliers are our long-standing business partners. During good times, our suppliers have supported us by keeping prices low so that essential goods are available to our customers at affordable prices. We are glad to be able to help our partners in this downturn so that we can continue our good working relations.”
Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore, said: “We commend NTUC FairPrice for their noteworthy efforts in helping their SME suppliers and partners. This shows that FairPrice recognises the importance of their SME suppliers and is willing to help them ride through this downturn. We hope that more large companies will step forward to do likewise.”
Mr Joey Ho, General Manager of T.H International Pte Ltd appreciates the assistance offered by FairPrice. He said, “With the current economic situation, any factor that could help to sustain our business is invaluable. The FairPrice SME assistance scheme will help to improve our cash flow and see us through this global economic crisis. That means more jobs will be saved.”
Mr A Rahman Abdul, Managing Director of As-Sufi Islamic Food Industries said, “It was a pleasant surprise to be included in this scheme designed for SMEs. Such assistance would help to strengthen our reserves in the face of this uncertain time. FairPrice has proven that it is not only concerned in alleviating the plight of general public through prudent pricing, but it also understands the need to support SMEs which form the bedrock of the local economy.”
Mr Randy Goh, Director of Sinhua Hock Kee Trading (S) Pte Ltd added, “FairPrice, as the biggest supermarket chain in Singapore, gives us a great channel to reach our customers. With FairPrice, we can offer a variety of our excellent products, benefiting consumers with savings and giving us good business in return. With this assistance programme in place, we are able to make fuller use of our working capital, helping us tide over times of tight credit. We feel happy that FairPrice is launching this initiative to help SMEs like us.”
Besides the SME Assistance Programme, NTUC FairPrice’s plan to help its stakeholders cope with the downturn include the extension of the 5 percent discount on 500 housebrand items till end December this year, the introduction of yellow dot lowest-priced items, financial assistance and skills development for staff, as well as increased financial support to the Labour Movement and the poor and needy in the community through the NTUC FairPrice Foundation.