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Fortitude Budget in Singapore

After the Resilience Budget and Solidarity Budget coming into force earlier this year, the Singapore government has announced another Fortitude Budget on May 26th, 2020 to offer even more support for its people and businesses. Below is a summary of such budget for businesses.

(In case you have not updated on the Resilience Budget and Solidarity Budget, you can go over a summary of them here)

1. Enhancements to Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

  • The JSS is extended to cover wages paid in August 2020, bringing the total months covered by the scheme up to 10 months. The wage support for August will be paid out in October 2020.
  • Companies that are not allowed to continue their operation will continue to receive 75% wage support until August 2020, or until re-opening their operation, whichever happens first.
  • More specific sectors are added to the list of supported tiers.
  • Eligible sectors will also receive a top-up to their previous payouts if they fall under new additional support category.

For more information, please kindly visit our article on Jobs Support Scheme.

2. Foreign Worker Levy Waiver and Rebate

The waiver and rebate are extended for two more months for businesses that are not able to continue their operations:

  • The waiver will be 100% in June and 50% in July
  • The rebate will be $750 in June and $375 in July

The levy will be restored back to normal rates from August 2020, or when workers are able to work again, whichever happens first.

3. Rental Relief

For SMEs (whose annual turnover is no more than $100 million), the government continues to offer more support in the Fortitude Budge as following:

For SMEs tenants in private non-residential properties

Along with the property tax rebate for 2020 announced in the previous budgets, a new cash grant of about $2 billion for SMEs tenants is introduced to offset their rental costs. To be more specific:

  • For commercial property, qualifying SMEs will receive cash grant of about 0.8 months of rents.
  • For other non-residential properties (such as industrial property and office), qualifying SMEs will receive cash grant of about 0.64 months of rents.

The cash grant amount will be given to the property owners from end-July 2020. They are required to pass on the benefit to their SMEs tenants.

For SMEs in public properties

In addition to the rental waivers mentioned in the previous budgets, more rental waivers will be given in the Fortitude Budge to the following tenants of Government-owned or managed non-residential premises:

  • Stallholders in hawker centers and markets, who earlier qualified for three months’ worth of rental waiver, will get two additional months (5 months of waiver in total)
  • Commercial tenants, who earlier qualified for two months’ worth of rental waiver, will get two additional months (4 months of waiver in total)
  • Other tenants of non-residential premises, who earlier qualified for one month’s worth of rental waiver, will get one additional month (2 months of waiver in total)

4. Boosting Digitalization Momentum

A bonus of up to $300/month over 5 months will be given to stallholders in hawker centers (including cooked food and wet market stalls), coffee shops, and industrial canteens for e-payment adoption.

Furthermore, $250 million is set aside to help businesses digitalize in partnership with platform solution providers and industry champions.

5. Digital Resilience Bonus for Food Services and Retail Sectors

Enterprises of food services and retail that adopt specific types of digital solutions along with PayNow Corporate and e-voicing can receive bonus payouts up to $10,000 to offset their costs of adoption. There will be 3 solutions categories for each sector with different bonus amount (from $2,500 to $5,000). Details will be announced at a later date.

6. Support for Promising Start-ups

Along with the previously mentioned $300 million to support deep-tech start-ups, another $285 million is set aside for matching private investments to sustain start-up innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

7. Enhancements to the Hiring Incentive

This program is part of SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package announced at the beginning of this year. It provides financial incentives for employers to encourage them to hire local workers who have gone through eligible reskilling programs.

The hiring incentive is extended to cover workers of all ages:

  • An employer that hires a local eligible worker aged 40 and above will be given salary support of 40% per month over 6 months, capped at $12,000 in total.
  • An employer that hires a local eligible worker aged below 40 will be given salary support of 20% per month over 6 months, capped at $6,000 in total.

It was also improved to encompass more reskilling or training programs.

For the detailed information on the Fortitude Budget, you can view the whole Fortitude Budget Statement on the official Singapore Budget Website.

Should you have any further information, please kindly contact us for answers! BBCIncorp is always willing to help!

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