During the 2020 Budget Speech on 18 February, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a S$4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package to support enterprises through the current economic state.
There will also be additional support for businesses in five sectors that are hit hardest by the outbreak of COVID-19, namely tourism, aviation, retail, food services and point-to-point land transport services.
The Government aims to help employers in these sectors retain and reskill their workers by enhancing support under the Adapt and Grow initiative.
The funding period for reskilling employees will also be extended from three months to a maximum of six months.
This will help employers retain and train “more than 330,000” local workers, said Heng.
Particularly, businesses in the tourism sector will benefit from a 30% Property Tax Rebate to offset the operational costs of hotel rooms and function rooms in licensed hotels and serviced apartments.
International cruise and regional ferry terminals will also receive a 15% Property Tax Rebate, while integrated resorts will get a 10%.
Aviation will receive a S$112 million package to help defray costs, including a 15% property tax rebate for Changi Airport.
Local airlines will receive rebates for certificate fees, and landing charges if they operate flights between China and Singapore during the outbreak.
In the retail and F&B sectors, hawker stall owners and commercial tenants in Government-owned facilities can also expect rental waivers, amounting to S$45 million in total.
Finance Minister Heng also announced a new Temporary Bridging Loan Programme with a loan quantum of up to S$1 million, capped at 5% interest, to provide better cash flow for businesses.
The Government will take on 80% of the risk of the loans.
Heng encourages businesses affected to make full use of this down time for training, upskilling and improvement, to be fully prepared for the recovery.
Further details of support for the above five sectors will be shared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in future.
Featured Image Credit: GuideMeSingapore