Singapore Govt announces $1.1 billion support package to aid businesses hit by COVID-19 restrictions
The Singapore Government has announced a $1.1 billion support package to support businesses and workers that have been badly affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. The Ministry of Finance said that there will be an increase of up to 60% in the Job Support Scheme for businesses such as food and beverages, gyms, and performing arts organisations.
The funds for the packages will be the sum total of reallocated monies coming from underutilised budgets and the funds that had been set aside to extend these support schemes. The Ministry had also said that the Government reached out to workers and businesses, business and trade association leaders to understand their concerns and demands, and then formulated these support packages.
Support for the private sector and retail
JSS support will be amped up to 40% for sectors like the retail sector, personal care services, tourist attractions, licensed hotels, cruise, and regional ferry operators, Mice(meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions) organisers, travel agents, museums, art galleries, cinema operators and other family entertainment centers. The JSS support for these sectors will taper to 10% from 19th August to 31st August.
Commercial property rental and driver support
The Rental Support Scheme will allow tenants of government-owned commercial properties a four-week rental waiver. It will also relax tenancy terms for owner-occupiers of privately owned commercial properties for an additional two-week rental relief payout. The fairness of rental agreements is also under purview. Some measures are being considered where rental obligations will be equally shared between the Government, landlords, and qualifying tenants.
The Government has also enhanced the Covid-19 Relief Fund for taxi and private car drivers in which the eligible drivers will be given an additional $10 dollars per vehicle every day from 22nd July to 31st August.
Business and eCommerce relief
National Environment Agency(NEA) managed individual stallholders of cooked food and market stalls will receive a one-time $500 dollars cash. Also, the Covid-19 Recovery Grant will be made available till 31st Aug 2021 to those who were placed on involuntary no-pay leave with an assured payout of $700 per person.
The Enterprise Singapore( ESG) has reintroduced Food Booster Package to aid the food and beverage sector by defraying part of food delivery costs via food delivery platforms and third logistic party logistic partners for transactions made from 22nd July to 18 August. Funding of five percentage points of the commission cost charged will also be done by ESG.
The E-commerce Booster Package capped at $8,000 will extend support to local retailers till 16th November. They will receive 80% aid on the qualifying costs of service fees taken by platforms such as Lazada, Qoo10, and Shopee.
The enhanced payouts will be disbursed in September 2021. Local employers who had to push their staff on for unpaid leave also have the option to reach out to JSS support. Their disbursements will depend on the respective qualifying criteria.