Thursday, September 06, 2007

Can good times be bad times for business?

The booming economy can be a scourge to some businesses. The good times in Singapore have tightened its grip on the supply of commercial space as well as labour for businesses in Singapore. This has eventually led to higher rentals and wages for businesses.

The salaries of certain groups of owners have also needed to be increased because of the higher cost of products. Some workers have complained that the current salaries they are receiving are not enough for businesses.

One example is the 100 strong courier company, network express. Managing Director V.S. Kumar said his drivers are clamouring for pay rises. “With the current salary you are giving us, our families can’t afford to buy the same things anymore”.

“If I am not going to give my new staff higher pay, they are not going to join us,” he said. With the good times, the cost of living has also obviously risen for the layman in the street and for businesses as well. “If I am not going to give my new staff higher pay, they are not going to join us.”

Rising residential rents are also affecting some multinational companies in Singapore which pay for the housing expenses of their expatriate staff here. Mr Dom LaVigne , Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) noted, “In the last three to four months, we’ve heard more from our members about the concerns they have about the higher cost of doing business in Singapore.”