Singapore Launches Latest US$800 Million Economic Support Package
On July 23, 2021, Singapore introduced its latest S$1.1 billion (US$800 million) economic support package as the country returned to Phase 2 restrictions (from July 22, 2021, to August 18, 2021) to stem local COVID-19 infection rates.
The latest package includes enhanced wage subsidies under the Job Support Scheme (JSS), rental relief for commercial properties, support for local retailers to join e-commerce platforms, as well as the extension of the recovery grant for workers impacted by the current restrictions, among others.
Singapore is expected to draw S$53.7 billion (US$39 billion) from its past reserves as well as S$24 billion (US$17 billion) over the next three years to assist businesses in innovation to build deep capacities in a post-pandemic world.
What support is available?
Enhanced JSS support
JSS support will be enhanced to 60 percent for sectors that have been required to suspend their activities during Phase 2. Sectors that are required to suspend operations include food and beverage (F&B) outlets, fitness studios and gyms, and performing arts organizations and arts education centers.
These sectors will receive JSS support from July 22, 2021, to August 18, 2021, and from August 19, this will be reduced to 10 percent. Under JSS, the government co-funds a portion of the first S$4,600 (US$3,382) of gross monthly wages to local employees. The percentage differs for various sectors.
The government has also enhanced the JSS support to 40 percent to sectors considered to be significantly affected by the restrictions for the same period. These include the retail sector, Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) organizers, travel agents, and tourist attractions, family entertainment centers, and museums. The JSS support will taper to 10 percent from 19 to 31 August 2021.
Further details of the scheme can be found here.
Rental relief for commercial properties
The government has provided an additional four-week rental waiver for qualifying tenants of government-owned commercial properties, and an additional two-week rental relief cash payout for privately-owned commercial properties.
Cash support for workers
The government has extended the COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Temporary (CRG-T) until August 31, 2021). Under this grant, workers placed on involuntary no-pay leave can receive a one-off payout of S$700 (US$514), and up to S$500 (US$367) for those who have lost at least half their income for at least one month due to the tightened measures (from May 16, 2021). Existing CRG-T recipients who continue to require assistance can apply for a second CRG-T payout.
Continuation of the e-commerce booster package
The e-commerce booster package — reintroduced on May 6, 2021 — will now be available until November 16, 2021.
This initiative helps local retailers to get onboard local e-commerce platforms whereby they will receive a one-time 80 percent support for qualifying costs from the government, capped at S$8,000 (US$5,882). These platforms include Lazada, Mummy’s Market, Qoo10, Shopee, and Zalora.
Extension of food delivery booster package
The food delivery booster package supports the F&B sector by defraying part of the food delivery costs (20 percent) via delivery platforms and other third-party logistics partners for transactions made from July 22 to August 18, 2021.
Support for hawkers and market stallholders
From July 16, 2021, the government announced an additional one month of subsidies for dishwashing and table-cleaning services, and a one-month of rental waivers for hawker centers and stallholders.
These are available for services managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators.
Further, the government will introduce a new Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund whereby individual stallholders and market stalls managed by the NEA will receive one-off cash assistance of S$500 (US$367) per stallholder.
Enhancement of relief fund for taxi and private hire drivers
The Government will enhance the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) from July 22 to the end of September 2021.
The CDRF provides drivers with S$10 (US$7.35)/vehicle/day for 60 days from July 2021, and S$5 (US$3.67)/vehicle/day for the next 30 days. This has now been enhanced to an additional S$10 (US$7.35)/vehicle/day from 22 July to 31 August 2021, and an additional S$5 (US$3.67)/vehicle/day in September 2021.
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