Heron Airbridge Featured In Lianhe Zaobao’s Article On Singapore Budget 2023

Headline: 新预算案料助企业应对更长远挑战 精细调准援助疫后加速前进
(New Budget expected to support companies in their long-term plans and accelerate growth post-pandemic)

Link: https://www.zaobao.com.sg/finance/singapore/story20230205-1359778
Print: Page 26



Ahead of this year’s Budget announcement on 14th February, this article sets the stage for local enterprises in 2023 – stating that the year ahead will be a challenging one due to global economic pressures, a tight labour market and inflation.

In the face of pandemic-bound assistance programmes coming to an end, the writer asks how government initiatives can support local enterprises and their employees adapt and continue to grow.

Experts interviewed shared that the government’s focus will be less on short-term support for SMEs, but more on long-term sustainable growth and to internationalise.

One suggestion was for the government to expand or extend select schemes, such as the Market Readiness Assistance scheme, which encourages companies to go global.

A spokesperson from the Singapore Business Federation shared that the government should address two major pain points – manpower constraints and rising costs. Urging measures to be extended to ease the transition from extensive support given over the past two years.

Heron Technology and Heron AirBridge is the only company given a standalone feature within this article, presented as an exemplar of a local SME forging ahead to internationalise this year.

The article states that Heron AirBridge was formed in January this year with a focus on drones and air traffic management technology. It also states that ESG is supporting AirBridge to grow its global network and reach potential customers, partners and investors. Further, that the company will participate in the Airspace World 2023 expo in Geneva Switzerland in March 2023.

In a quote, Ryan said, “manpower constraints are the biggest challenge for us at the moment, especially as a start-up it is difficult to compete with government agencies, banks and MNCs for top tech talent.”

The article states that Heron Technology and Heron AirBridge currently have eight employees each. With an estimated 10% increase in labour costs over the last 1-2 years. In addition to the sharp increase in the basic salary of employees, the cost of auxiliary employment such as insurance, transportation, and professional services has also increased. With management opting to take a pay cut last year to better manage resources.

Ending off the article with Ryan’s wishlist for this year’s Budget, the article states that he hopes that the government can expand their investment and support in deep tech R&D, and pay more attention to the development of UTM systems.