Knowledge Highlights 28 July 2021
On 23 July 2021, the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) issued a press release on the support package to help workers and businesses during Phase Two (Heightened Alert) (“P2(HA)”).
In view of the tightened safe management measures from 22 July 2021 to 18 August 2021, the Government will provide a support package to cushion the impact on workers and businesses. This will include enhancements to the Jobs Support Scheme (“JSS”) for affected sectors and rental relief for commercial properties.
On 26 July 2021, the Ministerial Statement on Support Measures for Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) was made available on the Budget 2021 website www.singaporebudget.gov.sg and the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) website www.mof.gov.sg. The Ministerial Statement was delivered by Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong.
Highlights of some of the relief measures are set out below.
Enhanced JSS for affected sectors
The Government will enhance the JSS for affected sectors from 22 July 2021 to 18 August 2021.
For sectors where the tightened measures require them to suspend many, if not all, of their activities, JSS support will be enhanced to 60%. These include food and beverage (“F&B”) businesses, gyms, fitness studios, performing arts organisations and arts education centres.
The Government will also enhance JSS support to 40% for sectors that are significantly affected by the restrictions. These include the retail sector, affected personal care services, tourist attractions, licensed hotels, cruise and regional ferry operators, MICE organisers, travel agents, museums, art galleries, cinema operators and other family entertainment centres.
From 19 to 31 August 2021, the JSS support level for the above groups will taper to 10%.
More details can be found in Annex A.
Rental relief for commercial properties
There will be an additional four-week rental waiver for qualifying tenants on Government-owned commercial properties, and an additional two-week rental relief cash payout for qualifying tenant-occupiers and owner-occupiers of privately-owned commercial properties under the Rental Support Scheme (“RSS”). More details on the RSS will be made available on the Inland Revenue Authority Singapore (IRAS) website.
The Government intends to require landlords of privately-owned commercial properties to provide a matching two-week rental support to their tenants. For landlords which are genuinely facing hardship, a process will be put in place to take their circumstances into consideration. More details on this measure will be announced by the Ministry of Law.
Extension of food delivery booster package
To support the F&B sector, Enterprise Singapore (“ESG”) will reintroduce the Food Delivery Booster Package to defray part of food delivery costs via food delivery platforms and third-party logistics partners for transactions made from 22 July to 18 August 2021. For the use of food delivery platforms, ESG will fund five percentage points of the commission cost charged. ESG will fund 20% of the delivery costs for food delivery orders through third-party logistics partners.
Continuation of e-commerce booster package
ESG will provide support for local retailers to get on-board local e-commerce platforms through the E-commerce Booster Package, which was reintroduced on 16 May 2021 and will be available till 16 November 2021. Retailers will receive a one-time 80% support on qualifying costs for the service fees charged by the platforms, capped at S$8,000. These platforms include Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee and Zalora.
Credit support measures remain available
Banks and finance companies continue to provide cashflow assistance to borrowers affected by the tightening of restrictions. This is facilitated by the ESG, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and industry support measures that had been recently extended. Please click here for an article on the extended support measure.