Covid-19 Support Measures for Businesses

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Temporary relief for businesses and individuals unable to fulfil contractual obligations

If you are a business owner who has entered into a contractual agreement recently and experiencing difficulties fulfilling your obligations due to COVID-19, the Ministry of Law has introduced a new law that offers you temporary relief from legal action, on a just and equitable basis, for six months.

Defer Payment of Principal on Secured SME Loans

You may apply to your lender to defer principal repayment of your SME’s loan until 31 December 2020.
The loan term may be extended by up to the corresponding principal deferment period.

Assistance with Insurance Premium Payment

You may apply to your insurer to pay in instalments your company’s general insurance premiums (e.g. property, trade credit, vehicles) 

No increases in Government fees and charges for 1 year

Freezing of all government fees and charges for one year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This will apply to all fees for government services.

Pass-through of Property Tax Rebate

COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill to ensure pass-through of PTR from property owners to tenants
• 100% rebate for qualifying commercial properties
• 60% rebate for the Integrated Resorts
• 30% rebate for other non-residential properties

Enhance Rental Waivers

3 months rental waiver for hawkers
2 months rental waiver for commercial tenants in govt properties
1 month rental waiver for industrial, office and agricultural tenants of Govt agencies

Waiver of monthly Foreign Worker Levy due in Apr 2020

To help firms cut costs and improve their cashflow. a waiver of the March 2020 Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) due in April

Foreign Worker Levy Rebate of $750 in Apr 2020

To help firms cut costs and improve their cashflow, employers will receive a one-off FWL rebate of $750 for each work permit or S Pass holder, for levies paid in 2020. This is to enable employers to preserve their manpower in order to quickly resume operation.

Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rebate

CIT Rebate of 25% of tax payable, capped at $15,000 per company, will be granted for Year of Assessment (YA) 2020.

Deferment Of Income Tax Payments For Companies

To ease cash flow of companies, the Government will grant an automatic three-month deferment of their income tax payments. No application is required.

Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

Government will pay 75% of the first $4,600 of monthly wages paid in Apr 2020, for every local worker in employment. Wage support levels will be differentiated by sector for remaining qualifying months. Higher support for sectors more affected by COVID-19, of up to 75%. Firms will receive the first payout in Apr 2020, including the enhanced payout for Apr wages.

Wage Credit Scheme

The government co-funding ratios for wage increases in 2019 and 2020 will be raised to 20% and 15% respectively. The qualifying gross wage ceiling will also be raised to $5,000 for both years.
Qualifying employers benefitting from the enhancements for the 2019 wage increases will be notified by end Jun 2020, and will receive a supplementary payout thereafter.

Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme

The Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme is set up to mitigate financial impact for those who have been served Quarantine Orders under the Infectious Diseases Act. Under the QOA scheme, claims of $100 per day can be made by two groups:
(i) Self-employed
(ii) Employers, who have employees issued with Quarantine Orders

LOA / SHN Support Programme

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is providing support to help businesses and self-employed persons (SEPs) who are affected by Leave of Absence (LOA) and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements due to COVID-19.

Temporary Bridging Loan

Eligible enterprises may borrow up to $5 million under the TBLP, with the interest rate capped at 5% p.a., from Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs). The Government will provide 90% risk-share on these loans for new applications initiated from 8 April until 31 March 2021. 

Eligible enterprises under the TBLP may also apply for up to 1 year deferral of principal repayment to help manage their debt, subject to assessment by the PFIs. 

Enterprise Financing Scheme – Working Capital Loan

Under the new Enhanced SME Working Capital Loan, businesses can access up to $1M working capital with Enterprise Singapore undertake 90% risk sharing. There are 14 financial institutions participating in this scheme. Credit criteria & interest rates vary across the banks.

Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan

Maximum loan quantum of EFS-Trade Loan increases from $5m to $10m and Government’s risk-share raised to 80% (raised to 90% in the Solidarity Budget), from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021. Available to enterprises in all industries to help them with their trade financing needs.

Loan Insurance Scheme

Subsidies for loan insurance premiums increased to 80%

SMEs Go Digital

The SMEs Go Digital programme helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) build digital capabilities. Under the SMEs Go Digital programme, SMEs receive funding support for the adoption of pre-approved digital solutions through the PSG.

From 1 Apr 2020 to 31 Dec 2020, the scope of pre-approved digital solutions under PSG will be expanded to help enterprises implement safe distancing and business continuity measures.  In addition, the maximum support level for PSG will be raised to 80%. Businesses will receive more co-funding support for digitalisation, reducing the cash outlay required during this period.

Productivity Solutions Grant

PSG will be enhanced to encourage enterprises to continue their digitalisation and productivity upgrading efforts. The maximum funding support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. The scope of Generic solutions will also be expanded to help enterprises implement COVID-19 business continuity measures: 

1. Online collaboration tools 
2. Virtual meeting and telephony tools 
3. Queue management systems 
4. Temperature screening solutions

Enterprise Development Grant

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. The grant funds qualifying project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost. As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, the maximum support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. For enterprises that are most severely impacted by COVID-19, the maximum support level may be raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis.

Enhanced Training Support

Recognising the challenges that SMEs may face in sending their employees for training, the Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (ETSS) offers additional support for SMEs, including:

1. Higher Course Fee Grant: SMEs enjoy SkillsFuture Funding of up to 90% of the course fees when they sponsor their employees to attend courses supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)

2. Enhanced Absentee Payroll (AP) Funding: SMEs may claim AP funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a higher cap of $7.50 per hour, an increase over the normal cap of $4.50 per hour.

SGUnited Jobs Virtual Career Fairs (VCF)

SGUnited Jobs VCF focusing on temporary jobs that are immediately available.

SGUnited Traineeships

The programme allows those who just graduated or are graduating in 2020 from ITE, polytechnics, universities and other educational institutions to be equipped with relevant work experience and boost their employability, even during weaker hiring climate.

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