‘Fortitude’ Budget to continue business support and enhance existing jobs schemes
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the City State’s fourth budget for 2020 earlier this week. Dubbed the ‘Fortitude’ Budget, the government earmarked S$33 billion to support the re-opening of the economy and it has included a number of initiatives to enhance job saving measures, help SMEs and boost digitisation.
The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), announced in the previous budget was enhanced with an additional S$2.9 billion, extending the coverage of wages for another month (until August) and including more sectors who can benefit from the scheme.
Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SME) will also receive further help with rental payments. SME tenants (those who have less than S$100 million in turnover according to tax returns for the Year of Assessment 2019) in qualifying commercial or non-residential properties will receive a cash grant totalling approximately one month of rent. There will also be further rental waivers for non-residential tenants of government properties including Hawker stalls, markets and agricultural tenants among others.
Start-ups will also receive help with the government setting aside S$285 million to match private investments to start-ups. This will help tide promising start-ups through this period when access to loans has become more difficult and investors are more cautious.
The government will also support companies in their digitisation efforts with up to S$5,000 available for food services and retailers who wish to digitise their systems with PayNow Corporate, e-invoicing, business process or e-commerce solutions. An additional S$5,000 is available for firms that use advanced solutions.
The Singapore government has implemented a gradual three-phased approach to reopening the economy and these measures are a reflection that there will be continued economic disruption for businesses. The extension of the JSS and increase for some sectors should provide businesses with more clarity and allow them to plan better for the rest of the year.
For more information on the Fortitude Budget and how it affects your company, contact Alpadis Group