Singapore’s government has provided an array of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to help businesses reduce their overhead costs during the pandemic.

The government is expected to draw on S$53.7 billion (US$40 billion) from its reserves for this year and an additional S24 billion (US$17.8 billion) over the next three years to assist local companies transition into a post-pandemic business environment.

Moreover, the government has decided to delay the increase in the goods and sales tax (GST) for 2021 in addition to developing programs to assist businesses to accelerate their digital transformation.

The JSS program was launched in 2020 to offset local employees’ wages and protect jobs.

Under this scheme, the government co-funds a portion of the first S$4,600 (US$3,428) of an employee’s gross monthly wages. The co-funding varies between sectors.

Firms are classified into different tier groups (Tier 1, 2, 3, 3A, and 3B), which will determine the amount of eligible co-funding. Businesses in Tier 1 (tourism, aerospace, and aviation) received 30 percent support for wages between April to June 2021, but this will be reduced to 10 percent from July to September 2021.

With the recent lockdown of the city-state, businesses in the retail sector, museums, art galleries, and other entertainment centers (Tier 2) were eligible for 30 percent wage support. Firms in the food and beverage sectors, sports, and performing arts sectors were provided with 50 percent support.

The full list of tier businesses can be found here.

There are several financing schemes available for companies to be used as working capital, purchase of fixed assets, or renovation or contraction, among others.

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This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected]

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ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

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