Singapore Budget 2021:
What you need to know about the EST budget

As the world continues to recover from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore government has announced its plan for Budget 2021, titled the “Emerging Stronger Together (EST)” budget.

In his address, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat focused on how Singapore can come out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and forge partnerships to meet the challenges ahead. DPM Heng Swee Keat also highlighted the need to help workers and businesses adapt, innovate and grow to the developing norms brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, an emphasis on the need for individuals and businesses to push for digital transformation was stressed in his address.

But what does this mean for you, your business and employees? Keep on reading to find out more!




Changes under the EST budget

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for digital transformation. Companies who have been able to withstand the heavy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were likely those who had already begun to adopt digitalization prior to the pandemic.

The EST budget echoes this sentiment by offering further support to all other firms to help improve their business models and adopt digital solutions that will help improve productivity.  Under the COVID-19 Resilience Package, S$11 million will be channeled into helping businesses and workers fight against the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the changes for businesses you need to know!


For micro, SMEs and large enterprises:

1. New Emerging Technology Programme

  • Co-fund costs of trials and adoption of frontier technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence and trust technologies.

2. Chief-Technology-Officer-as-a-Service (CTOaaS) Initiative

  • Provide firms with access to professional IT consultancies to help identify and adopt digital solutions.

3. Digital Leaders Programme

  • Encourage promising firms to hire a core digital team that will help develop and implement a digital transformation roadmap.

4. Enhanced support for existing enterprises schemes

  • Schemes such as Scale-up SG, Productivity Solutions Grant, Market Readiness Assistance and Enterprise Development Grant will be enhanced in support levels of up to 80 per cent from end-September 2021 to end-March 2022.


For large local enterprises:

1. Large Local Enterprises (LLEs) Funding Platform

  • Eligible LLEs may co-invest $500 million with Singapore investment company Temasek to help enter their next phase of growth.


For employers and employees:

1. Job Support Scheme (JSS)

  • Additional S$700 million to be allocated.
  • 10 to 30 per cent in tiered wage subsidies with extensions based on tiered sectors.
  •  Businesses in Tier 1 sectors – aviation, aerospace and tourism: A six-month extension with 30 per cent support for wages paid from April to June this year, and 10 per cent support for wages paid from July to September.
  • Businesses in Tier 2 sectors – retail, food services, arts and culture, and marine and offshore:  Wage support of 10 per cent for three more months, covering wages paid up to June.
  • Businesses in Tier 3A sectors: No changes; however, 10 per cent of wages up to March for firms in these sectors will still be covered as previously announced.

2. SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

  • Support the hiring of 200,000 locals and provide up to 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities this year.
  • Additional S$5.4 billion to be added on top of the $3 billion allocated in 2020.
  • S$5.2 billion to be allocated to the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to extend the hiring window by seven months, up to end-September this year.
  • Extensions of up to 12 to 18 months in wage support for eligible firms.

3. Wage Credit Scheme

  • Wage Credit Scheme will be extended for a year, at a co-funding level of 15 per cent.
  • The Capability Transfer Programme (CTP) is one of many programmes that supports such foreign-to-local skills transfer.
  • CTP will be extended to end-September 2024.


Wrap up

The announcement of these various schemes and enhancements bring hope to many Singaporean businesses riding through this difficult period.

Service providers like Sleek can help your business cover up to 80 per cent in yearly fees under the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and S$10,000 in bonus payouts with the Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB).

With the help of government schemes and service providers like Sleek, you can still continue your business operations and minimise your worries! Feel free to reach out to us for more information if you need further assistance.

For further information on the Singapore Budget 2021, visit the official Ministry of Finance resource here!

Talk to our sales team to get started!

Other articles that might interest you

Related content

Get in touch.

Start your Sleek journey today

Ready to grow your business to the next level?
Let us help take the load off your shoulders so you can continue doing what you love.

50GB data with unlimited talktime for only S$18/month and additional add-ons!

Circles.Life is a telco provider in Singapore that provides no-contract mobile plans. Their end-to-end integrated service allows customers to manage and design a plan that best fits their needs.

Enjoy the following offers:

  • 50GB data with unlimited talktime (SIM-only) for S$18/month

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Get access to investors, corporates and business advisors

TiE Singapore is a vibrant eco-system of Asian entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and industry professionals – TiE has 61 worldwide chapters, 10,000 Startups, 80,000 Attendees and 15,000 members.


  • Exclusive access to an ecosystem of advisors, mentors, investors, corporate heads via discounted programs
  • Expand your reach beyond Singapore by attending all local and global events
  • A chance to showcase and pitch your ideas to industry leaders and investors
  • Network and build connections to engage with business experts, thought leaders and fellow entrepreneurs

Form your US company with Stripe Atlas

Stripe Atlas is a safe and easy-to-use platform for forming a US entity by removing obstacles that are typically associated with starting a company such as – legal paperwork, bank lines, obscure fees and regulatory barriers.

Enjoy the following benefits:

  • Get a discount from SGD $200 onwards on an Atlas incorporation
  • Use their services from anywhere in the world
  • An opportunity to connect with other founders and learn from experts

Enjoy up to SGD $1,425 off on eBay store and promotion fees that are incurred in the first quarter of your operation

eBay is a world-leading online marketplace that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales.

Sleek clients can benefit from a special promotion when they:

  • Sign up as new sellers on eBay
  • Offer a minimum of 100 SKUs in their online store

You will be eligible for:

  • 100% reimbursement of the store and promoted listing fees for up to 3 months, capped at SGD $1,425, subject to promotion T&Cs

How do you qualify?

  • Leave your contact details in eBay’s New Seller Form
  • eBay’s New Seller Account Management team will review your application and reach out to guide you on the account setup
  • Once approved you will receive a promotional email from your Account Manager

Enjoy your stay with Hmlet by getting corporate rates

Hmlet provides a custom designed, fully furnished, affordable and hassle-free coliving housing solution, perfect for entrepreneurs arriving in Singapore.

Enjoy the following benefits:

Get 10% when you stay with Hmlet in Singapore
Perfect opportunity to expand your network with Hmlet’s diverse community
Enjoy dedicated assistance from Hmlet Community Managers
Flexible month-to-month membership plans

*For new members only

Promotion is valid for any length of stay up to one year.

Contact Joanna at +65 8462 6446 to get the discount.

Gain instant access to the top coworking spaces around Singapore with FlySpaces Passport

FlySpaces provides short-term flexible workspace solutions, fully-furnished and fully-serviced, for entrepreneurs, SME’s, and corporates setting up their businesses in Southeast Asia.

Enjoy the following benefits:

  • 1 month free trial of Passport Starter package and 25% off the first month of any Passport package
  • Flexible packages that scale with your business
  • Dedicated assistance from a FlySpaces Space Expert

*For new members only 

Get 3 months free trial

Metigy is the world’s leading Digital Marketing Decision Support technology made for SME Marketers. Metigy’s AI platform helps SME’s achieve 2x-3x improvement quarter on quarter.

  • AI-powered real-time insights and recommendations platform
  • Set objectives and follow Metigy’s content recommendations
  • Planning calendar, content library and social analytics
  • Prioritised to-do list and approval workflows

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Join Hubspot for Startups and get up to 90% off your Hubspot subscription in your first year

We’re excited to partner with HubSpot for Startups to offer their program designed specifically to help startups grow and scale better, and faster – at a startup-friendly cost! Read on to learn more about the program.

What is the HubSpot for Startups program?

  • Education resources and tailored training
  • Professional software, startup pricing
  • Integrated platform for startups

Who is eligible?

Any startup that is a current customer of Sleek and meets certain funding criteria is eligible for this exclusive program! See below for more details:

  • A startup with under $2 million in funding: ou are eligible for up to 90% off HubSpot software in your first year, 50% off in your second, and 25% off ongoing.
  • A startup who has raised over $2 million in named funding up to and including Series A: You are eligible for up to 50% off in your first year, and 25% off ongoing.

*The HSFS startup-friendly pricing is only applicable to net-new HubSpot Hubs or upgrades of existing Starter subscriptions to Basic, Professional, or Enterprise products; customers may not apply the startup program pricing to existing Basic, Professional, or Enterprise Hubs.

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Get 10% discount on Google Workspace licenses

Google Workspace offers custom email for your domain, online storage, shared calendars and a range of collaboration tools to increase the productivity of your team.

  • Gmail for business
  • Gsheets, Gdocs, Gslides and Google Meet
  • High security and online file storage

A 10% discount is provided for all new domains and transfers.

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Get US$5,000 in AWS Promotional Credits

*Only available for technology startups

Amazon Web Services provides startups with low-cost, easy-to-use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business.

You will be eligible for:

  • US$5,000 in AWS Promotional Credits valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of AWS Business Support (up to US$1,500)
  • Opportunities to qualify for additional credits 
Note: Companies may not be eligible for AWS Activate Credits if they previously received a similar or greater amount of credit. Companies may be eligible to be “topped up” to a higher credit amount if they previously received a lower credit.  For more information, please review the AWS Activate Terms & Conditions.
Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Manage your company spending with a 3-month free trial

Spenmo is a B2B spend-management platform with physical and virtual card offerings. We aim to digitise expense processes and help companies eliminate fraud and overspending.

Enjoy the following benefits:

  • Free physical and virtual cards for up to 15 employees and 2% unlimited cashback for the first 6 months
  • $100K worth of free local and international invoice payments
  • Free cash reimbursement software

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Get S$10,000 in processing volume credit

Stripe is the best software platform for running an internet business. Stripe provides the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payment systems.

  • Fast, reliable and secure
  • Faster eligibility period for custom processing rates
  • Priority betas and special event access

Once you are a Sleek client, you can access this offer.

Free multi-currency account for businesses and online sellers

WorldFirst is an innovative global payment platform, helping businesses move money around the world faster, easier, safer and cheaper. 

Sleek clients can enjoy the following:

  • Open up to 10 international currency accounts for free: SGD, USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, HKD & CNH
  • Receive, hold and make payments in international currencies
  • Open your account for free with no monthly account fees and no annual transfer limits
  • Access great exchange rates
  • Manage your global finances all on one platform
  • Instant FX transactions between currency accounts

Do note that WorldFirst only works with online sellers.

Open a Singapore dollar business account from anywhere.

Wise is a global technology company that’s building the best way to move money around the world. Whether you’re sending money to another country, spending money abroad, or making and receiving international business payments, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money.

Enjoy the following benefits:

  • Enjoy S$2,600 fee-free transaction
  • Get bank details in 6 currencies: SGD, GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD
  • Sleek customers get access to the Wise Platinum debit Mastercard
  • Get support from our global team in Singapore, Europe, and the US