Singapore: Keeping the Future in Sight with the $33.3 Billion Fortitude Budget

Singapore May 27, 2020

IMPORTANT - Note from Editor:
The following is a compilation of initiatives by the Singapore Government. All information below is directly retrieved from the Fortitude Budget Website, with certain sections summarised by the Reapra team for brevity. To view the complete description of each measure, please refer to their respective links.

To ensure relevance for our readers, we are only providing measures relating to support for businesses. For the full listing of measures, please head over to the Fortitude Budget Website.

Key Source:
Fortitude Budget Website


Keeping their eye on building a sustainable post-COVID-19 future, the Singapore government has launched the S$33.3 billion Fortitude Budget yesterday, as announced by DPM and Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat.

With a focus to re-open the economy, recover and emerge stronger, the Fortitude Budget seeks to strengthen the resilience of the community, create jobs, and up-skill the local workforce, while boosting transformation for our enterprises.

The latter bodes well for businesses and entrepreneurs who are struggling during the current circuit breaker period, as they will receive further support from the government to tide them through the subsequent phases as Singapore gradually reopens its economy, and to move ahead in building and transforming their businesses for the future.

The listing of measures covered below are:


Supporting Businesses, and Saving Jobs

1. Enhancements to Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

  • Extension of one month to cover wages paid in August 2020.
  • Firms that are allowed to resume operations will revert to receiving their base tier of support (see Table 2), while those who are not allowed to resume operations will continue to receive the full JSS support during the period for which they are not allowed to resumer operations, or until August 2020, whichever is earlier.
  • Increased support for specific sectors from 25%, to 50% or 75%
  • Eligible sectors will also receive a top-up to their previous payouts.

2. Foreign Worker Levy Waiver & Rebate

For businesses that are unable to resume operations, they can receive:

  • 100% waiver and $750 rebate in June 2020
  • 50% waiver and $375 rebate in July 2020

Levy rates will be restored from August 2020, or when workers are able to work again, whichever is earlier.

3. Deferment of Higher CPF Contribution Rates

The planned increase in CPF contribution rates for seniors will be deferred till 1 January 2022.

4. Expanding Rental Relief for SMEs

  • Almost $2 billion in cash grants will be provided to help SMEs with rental costs, both for commercial and non-residential properties (Eg. industrial and office properties).
  • A new Bill will be introduced mandating that landlords will need to grant a rental waiver to SME tenants with significant revenue losses.

5. Financing Support for Promising Startups

  • An additional $285 million will be set aside to catalyse and crowd in at least another $285 million in matching private investments.
  • This is in addition to the Government financing schemes launched previously - eg. Temporary Bridging Loan, Enterprise Financing Scheme.
  • Startups can also make use of the SGUnited Traineeship scheme to bring in graduating students and build up their talent base.

6. Enhanced Hiring Incentives

  • Employers can receive a hiring incentive of up to $12,000 per worker, when they hire local workers who have completed eligible reskilling and training schemes
  • For employees aged >40: 40% of monthly salary for 6 months, capped at $12,000 in total.
  • For employees aged below 40: 20% of monthly salary for 6 months, capped at $6,000 in total.

Business Transformation to Seize New Opportunities

  1. Digital Resilience Bonus
  • F&B and retail businesses can receive up to $5,000 payout under the Digital Resilience Bonus when they adopt digital solutions for their invoicing, e-commerce and business processes.
  • Additional tier of $5,000 for those who can use advanced solutions.

2. National Innovation Challenges

  • Introduced by IMDA and ESG, the National Innovation Challenges call for businesses to innovate and provide solutions for the nation's challenges in reopening and recovery post circuit breaker.
  • Will be launched from Q3 2020, with successful solutions potentially receiving Government co-funding for initial deployment.

Updated 27 May 2020

Cover image: Photo by Chamal Prasanna on Unsplash

Reapra

Reapra is a venture builder and investment group based in Singapore. Through research and practice, we nurture entrepreneurs into industry leaders, and contribute towards the betterment of society.

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