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Singapore establishes S$1.1bn Covid-19 support for affected businesses

Out-Law News | 30 Jul 2021 | 2:43 am | 1 min. read

Singapore will make S$1.1 billion ($809 million) available to businesses and workers affected by the latest Covid-19 measures.

The move will be funded by money not used in other budgets because of Covid-19, and from money previously set aside earlier in case of an extension of support measures, said a statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The package includes enhancing jobs support scheme (JSS). Under the scheme, sectors who are asked to “suspend many, if not all, of their activities” during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), will receive 60% support for the first $4,600 ($3414) of gross monthly wages paid in the first three months this year. The sectors include food and beverage (F&B) businesses, gyms, fitness studios, performing arts organisations and arts education centres.

For sectors which are “significantly affected” by the restrictions, JSS will be increased to 40% support. The support will last till 18 August.

Singapore’s government will also offset the rent for the full duration of the latest period of heightened alert for government-owned commercial properties, and half the duration for privately-owned commercial properties.

Workers who are affected by the tightened measures can get help through the Covid-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary, which will be made available until 31 August. The fund provides a payout of up to S$700 ($515) for those who were placed on involuntary no-pay leave and up to S$500 ($368) for those who lost at least half of their income for at least one month due to tightened measures since 16 May. Existing recipients of the fund who continue to require assistance may apply for a second payout.

Other support measures also include extending the food delivery booster package and enhancing Covid-19 driver relief fund for taxi and private hire car drivers.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “These support packages are intended to help support individuals and businesses across these difficult times when they may be facing cashflow constraints and other financial difficulties.”

On 20 July, Singapore announced the reversion to Phase 2 measures starting from 22 July to 18 August due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases.