Productivity was a recurring theme over the recent Parliamentary debate over the country’s budget.

While some businesses are reluctant to go down that path, two companies that did tell The New Paper how it has benefited them and their staff.

In the first instance, Madam Shermaine Teo and Mr Bruce Lei spent around $500,000 to start up their bakery, Bake Mission, in 2008.

Last year, they made another large investment of $150,000 in new machinery.

The new machines, which speed up the packaging of the bakery’s products by 15 times and shorten other baking processes, have been a worthwhile investment, said Mr Lei, 57.

“With the increased productivity, our revenue increased by 15 per cent,” said Madam Teo, 45.

So the company gave all its 17 employees a 10 per cent pay rise last year.

In the second instance, for The Jellyhearts bakery in Downtown East, investment in machinery has also benefited its employees.

The bakery’s staff now get between 10 and 20 per cent more pay, as a result of greater productivity.

Both bakeries made use of the Employment and Employability Institute’s Inclusive Growth Programme.

Read the full report in The New Paper on Monday (March 17).