COVID-19: Relief Measures and Business Support Schemes in Singapore 2020

COVID-19: Relief Measures and Business Support Schemes in Singapore

Support measures have been put in place to address the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the relatively rapid spread of the virus, the epidemic is now a global concern. The global economy is currently dealing with an extensive disruption within supply chains that has led to an overall drop in demand.

Singapore’s Resilience Budget seeks to preserve livelihoods, provide support to workers, and save people’s jobs. It helps enterprises handle the immediate challenges that arise from the pandemic. It also helps to reinforce both social and economic resilience to ensure that Singapore comes out of this situation stronger and uncompromised.


Financial Implications

Using past reserve purposefully is essential for overcoming the unique and novel situation that has COVID-19 presents. Drawing on these reserves is a step duly approved by the President as a viable measure to respond to the pandemic in regards to addressing these unprecedented circumstances.


Protecting Incomes

Support measures responding to jobs and wages consist of the following:

  • Improving and extending the Jobs Support Scheme. The Government will assist employers by covering 25% of the initial $4,600 worth of monthly wages. It applies to all employed local workers for nine months.
  • Income Relief Scheme for the Self-Employed. Eligible self-employed Singaporeans will receive a total of 3 cash pay-outs every quarter of $3,000 per person for May, July, and October 2020.
  • Improving and extending the Training Support Scheme to the end of 2020 with the training allowance increased to $10 per hour.
  • Improve Workfare Special Payment for approximately 50,000 self-employed Singaporeans within the lower-income bracket.
  • Support Grant for COVID-19 $800 each month for both loan and middle-income workers in Singapore who lost their jobs during the pandemic
  • Temporary Relief Fund to provide financial aid to families who require help urgently after their livelihoods were affected by the pandemic
  • Making ComCare applications more flexible
  • SGUnited helps traineeships to provide fresh graduates with internships when entering the workforce and enhance their employability. The SGUnited portal provides more information.
  • SGUnited Jobs that help to facilitate the availability of 10,000 jobs for job seekers over the next year. Search for jobs at https://sgunitedjobs.gov.sg/q or https://mycareersfuture.sg/.


Household Support

Households receive support in the form of:

  • Improving the care and support package by tripling the current pay out for Singaporeans who are 21 and above to between $300 and $900. Parents who have at least one child aged 20 or less will receive an extra $300.
  • More flexible Government loans and fees with no increases in government charges for one year. Student loan repayments and other costs suspended for one year. Late payment charges suspended on mortgage arrears for HDBs.


Strength and Recovery

Measures put in place in regards to resilience and recovery efforts include:

  • Making sure there is a stable supply of food and health supplies
  • Boosting the matching ratio of the Government under the Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience program
  • Promoting the Digital Programme for SMEs by supporting adaptable and advanced solutions that minimize face-face interactions.
  • Boosting the Productivity Solutions Grant with an 80% rise in maximum support levels until the end of 2020.
  • Increasing the Enterprise Development Grant with a 90% rise in maximum support levels until the end of 2020.
  • Extending the improved training support and reaching out to more industries
  • Early and timely use of the SkillsFuture Credits for select courses. Visit SkillsFuture Credit for details on how to offset the course fees further.
  • Extending the range of social distancing measures as necessary
  • Providing support for businesses involved in SG Clean by introducing financial assistance for specialized cleaning.


Business Support

Support measures responding to cash flow, credit, and cost include:

  • Deferring income tax payments
  • Boosting Property Tax Rebate with an increase for eligible commercial properties like restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, serviced apartments, and hotels from 15%/30% to 100%. Integrated resorts receive a rebate increase from 105 to 60%. Other non-residential properties will secure a novel 30% tax rebate.
  • Enhancing waivers on rent with a rise from 1 month to 3 months to cater for stallholders within hawking centres that are under NEA management. The rental exemption increased from half a month to 2 months for commercial tenants who are eligible within government agencies. It also has a waiver of 0.5 months for other non-residential government agency tenants.
  • No government charges increments
  • Enhancing the Enterprise Financing Scheme for cash flow support with an increase in the maximum loan quantum under the scheme to $10m and increases the risk share of the Government to 80%.
  • Enhancing the Loan Insurance Scheme with increased subsidies for loan insurance premiums under the scheme to 80%.
  • Expanding and boosting the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme


Supporting Affected Industries

  • Aviation sector- Enhancing the Jobs Support Scheme to cater to businesses activities primarily based within the aviation sector
  • Tourism-related fields – Enhancing the Jobs Support Scheme for venue operators, cruise operations and terminals, tourist attractions, travel agencies and hotels
  • Food services industry- Enhancing the Jobs Support Scheme for firms that deal with food and beverages
  • Transport sector- Road tax rebate for one year. Waiving bus parking fees for six months at parking facilities that are managed by the Government
  • Arts and Culture- Support package worth $55m to protect jobs and maintain capabilities


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