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During this circuit breaker period, many firms may not be able to operate or can only operate at a much reduced level. To help businesses preserve their capacity and capabilities so they can hit the ground running once the circuit breaker is lifted, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announced additional support on 6 Apr 2020.
Support for Businesses
1. Stabilisation & Support Package
2. Transformation and Growth
Support for Businesses
Automatic deferment of income tax payments for 3 months for companies and self-employed persons
3. Help with credit
4. Help for sectors most affected by COVID-19
Solidarity Budget [Announced 6 Apr 2020]
Businesses will receive additional help with labour and rental costs, as well as financing support during this circuit breaker period.
Help with labour costs
To help businesses retain their workers in the coming weeks when many firms may not be able to operate or can only at a much reduced level, and for business to be up and running quickly after the circuit breaker is lifted, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be enhanced. The wage subsidy for all firms will be raise to 75% of gross monthly wages for the $4,600 of wages paid in Apr 2020, for all local employees. This is up from 25% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages for all local employees previously.
This wage subsidy applies to every one of over 1.9 million local employees. The first JSS payout will be brought forward from May to April 2020.
In addition, help will be given to ease labour costs of employers who have hired foreign workers, to help them take care of these workers during this circuit breaker period. There will be a waiver of monthly foreign work levy due in Apr 2020, as well as a foreign worker levy rebate of $750 for each Work Permit or S-Pass holder, based on previous levies paid in 2020.
Help with rental costs
The Ministry of Law will introduce a bill to let businesses and individuals defer certain contractual obligations, such as paying rent, repaying loans, or completing work, for a period. This bill will also ensure that property owners pass on the property tax rebate in full, to tenants to ease their rental costs.
The government will increase rental waiver for industrial, office and agricultural tenants of government agencies to 1 months, up from 0.5 month’s rental waiver previously announced.
Enhanced financing support
Further enhancements to financing support for enterprises will be made so businesses can continue to have access to credit, despite uncertainties.
Government’s risk share of loans made under the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) – Working Capital Loan and EFS – Trade Loan will be increased from 80% to 90% for loans initiated from 8 Apr 2020 till 31 Mar 2021.
To help SMEs with temporary cash flow difficulties, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), together with the financial institutions introduced a package of measures. Details here.
Help for self-employed persons
To provide direct cash assistance for self-employed persons the Self-employed person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) will also be enhanced. Details here.