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Latest grants in Singapore to combat Covid-19

8 minute read Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Singapore government has put aside almost S$100 billion resilience budget to support Singaporeans and businesses in this tough period. Continue reading to find out more information about the latest grants! Overview: Article updated as of October 2020.

Solidarity Payment

On 6 April, the Singapore government announced a third round of support measures to help individuals and families through the Covid-19 outbreak. One main addition that was introduced was
  • solidarity payment. Those eligible will now get an additional SGD $300 on top of the SGD $300 – $900 payment that was announced in the Resilience Budget.

    Criteria

    • Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020

    How to apply

    You would not need to apply for this scheme if you are eligible. SGD $600 will directly be credited into your bank account by 14 April 2020 or issued via cheque starting from 30 April 2020. Image from https://www.gov.sg

    Jobs Support Scheme (JSS)

    The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will support 1.9 million local employees in Singapore. This scheme will be available for 17 months for most sectors (till the end of Mar 2021), up from 5 months previously. The additional support will be paid out by Mar and Jun 2021. Previously, the 75% subsidy was offered to employers to cover 75% of their Singapore workers gross monthly wages for the first SGD $4,600 of the wages earned in April. In line with the gradual re-opening of the economy, the JSS have been adjusted. The Government co-funds between 25% to 75% of the first SGD $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee in a 10-month period (up to Aug 2020) and 10% to 50% of the same in the subsequent 7-month period (Sep 2020 to Mar 2021). The JSS scheme will also extend their payout and cover wages of employees of a company who are also shareholders and directors of the company.

    Criteria

    All employers who have made CPF contributions for their Singaporean or PR employees will qualify for the payout except those who are in this list. For shareholders and directors
    • Companies that were registered on or before 20 April 2020
    • Wages of shareholder-directors with Assessable Income of $100,000 or less for Year of Assessment 2019
    The May 2020 payout will also include back-payment for companies with qualifying shareholder-directors whose wages were excluded from the first JSS payout in April 2020.

    How to apply

    Employers do not have to apply for this scheme. The grant that they receive will be computed based on the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution data. Employers will receive the payouts in 5 instalments: April, July, October 2020, March 2021, and June 2021.

    Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)

    The Wage Credit Scheme added in June, an additional $500 million for employees’ wage increases, on top of the $600 million that was disbursed in March 2020. This scheme supports businesses and encourages employers to share productivity gains with workers by co-funding wage increases.

    Criteria

    • Have given Singaporean employees who have earned a gross monthly wage up to SGD S$5,000 (up from the current S$4,000), a gross monthly wage increase of at least SGD $50 in 2019 and/or have continued the gross monthly wage increase of at least SGD $50 previously given to the employees in 2017 and/or 2017
    • Have paid the employees’ the mandatory CPF contributions on 2019 wages to the CPF board by 14 January 2020

    How to apply

    Employers will not need to file for the WCS grant. Employers who benefit from additional wage credit received a separate payout by the end of September 2020. Letters will be sent to all employers that qualify for this scheme, informing them about the payout.

    Covid-19 Support Grant

    Covid-19 Support Grant has been introduced to support those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This grant will help them to find a new job or enrol themselves for training. Successful applicants will receive a cash grant of $800 for 3 months. Individuals who are currently receiving or have received CSG support, and fulfil the revised eligibility criteria can apply for an additional three months of CSG support.

    Criteria

    Singapore Citizens or PRs aged 16 years and above (who are presently unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination due to the virus and meet the following requirements:
    • Had a monthly household income of not more than SGD $10,000, or per capita household income not more than $3,100 per month (before unemployment)
    • Live in a property with an annual value of not more than SGD $21,000
    • Not currently receiving ComCare Short-to-Medium Term assistance (SMTA) or ComCare Interim Assistance.
    • Does not own more than one property
    • This criterion applies for unemployed applicants only and who demonstrates job search or training efforts
    Take note: Before facing unemployment, the applicant had to have been employed as a full-time or part-time permanent or contract staff. Applicants must also agree to participate in a job search or enrol for training programmes under Workforce Singapore or the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

    How to apply

    This grant will be open for application from May – December 2020. Existing/previous CSG recipients may re-apply from 1 October 2020. Those who would like to apply for this would need to submit their application at their nearest Social Service Office (SSO). You can click here to find the nearest SSO to you.

    SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme

    The SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programme was introduced to support mid-career individuals to widen their professional networks and gain new, in-demand skills. Mid-career individuals can embark on industry-relevant attachment programmes lasting up to 9 months with approved host organisations to gain industry-relevant experience and boost their employability. Mid-career individuals who take on attachments under this programme can receive a monthly training allowance of up to $3,000 per month and the Government will fund 80% of the training allowance.

    Criteria

    This programme is open to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, with the exception of recent graduates.

    How to apply

    If you are interested in this program, you can visit MyCareersFuture.

    SGUnited Traineeships for trainees

    The SGUnited Traineeships allows those students who have graduated or are graduating in 2020 to provide them with related work experience and to boost their employability rate. Trainees will receive a training allowance for the duration of the traineeship. This allowance will be co-funded by the government and companies that are participating.  The Government will co-fund 80% of the training allowance. Allowance:
    Required qualifications  University degree or above Polytechnic diploma or professional qualifications ITE or equivalent
    Estimated monthly Allowance SGD $1,800 to $2,500 SGD $1,300 to $1,800 SGD$1,100 to $1,500

    Criteria

    You need to fulfil the following criteria:
    • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident; and Graduated or graduating in calendar year 2019 or 2020 from ITEs, polytechnics, universities, or other educational institutions (e.g. private universities and overseas institutions); or
    • Graduated earlier from above institutions and completed National Service in 2019 or 2020.

    How to apply

    From 1st June 2020 onwards, eligible jobseekers who are keen to apply for SGUnited Traineeships can visit mycareersfuture.sg and search for traineeship opportunities under the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships.

    SGUnited Traineeships for host companies

    Companies can now join the programme as host companies to bring in newly graduates as trainees which will then help support their business necessitates and also be able to tap on government support during the traineeship period. Criteria All host companies need to fulfil the following:
    • Host companies must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
    • Offer traineeships lasting up to 12 months (Traineeship must commence by 31st December 2020)
    • Need to provide clear traineeship descriptions and development plans that would benefit the trainees. This will be subjected to approval by the appointed programme manager (SBF).
    • Co-fund 20% of the training allowance for the duration of the traineeship
    How to apply This programme will start on 1st June 2020. Those who are interested can fill up this form and from there, SBF will get in touch with you about the application process and more.

    The Courage Fund

    The Courage Fund will help lower-income households affected by COVID-19, or on Stay-Home Notice (SHN), mandatory Leave of Absence (LOA), or Home Quarantine Order (HQO). The Courage Fund provides a one-time lump sum of up to $1,000 for a household.

    Criteria

    • Households with at least one Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident whose family member(s) have contracted COVID-19, or are on SHN, mandatory LOA, or HQO
    • Loss of complete or partial (at least 10%) household income due to COVID-19
    • Prior household income of SGD $3,900, or per capita household income of SGD $1,350

    How to apply

    You can apply online on the Ministry of Social and Family Development website or at any SSO. Applications should be made within 6 months from the end of the SHN, LOA, HQO, or discharge from hospitalisation due to COVID-19, whichever is later.

    Foreign Worker Levy

    The government has set aside SGD $320 million to further extend the foreign worker levy rebates to support firms in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors. The government will also further extend the FWL waiver. This increased support is in addition to the SGD $1.36 billion Construction Support Package earlier announced on 27 June 2020. Employers were given SGD SGD $750 in foreign worker levy rebates for every foreign worker employed in their company last June. Firms will continue to receive a SGD $90 FWL rebate monthly for October 2020 until December 2021. Criteria
    • If you employ Work Permit holders

    SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

    Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme will directly provide cash assistance to the self-employed. Those eligible will receive SGD $1000 per month for 9 months.

    Criteria

    • Started work as a SEP on/before 25 March 2020
    • Do not earn income as an employee
    • Earn a Net Trade income of no more than SGD $100,000
    • Live in a property with an annual value of no more than SGD $21,000
    • Do not own 2 or more properties
    Additional criteria for married Singaporean SEPs:
    • The individual and spouse together do not own 2 or more properties
    • The assessable income of his/her spouse does not exceed SGD $70,000

    How to apply

    SEPs aged 37 and above in 2020 who declared positive SEP income to IRAS/CPF board for Work Year 2018 do not have to apply. They will automatically be informed about their eligibility via a letter and SMS and will then receive the first SIRS payout automatically in May 2020.

    SEP Training Support Scheme

    Self Employed Persons Training Support Scheme will provide support for them to make use of this period to train upskill. Up to 90% of course fees will be subsidised and also, from 1 May 2020, there will be a training allowance given for SGD $10/hour. There will also be an automatic deferment of income tax payment for 3 months.

    Criteria

    • Self-employed person at the point of the application
    • Main income is from self-employment
    • You will be required to produce proof, your consolidated statement of Income for the year of assessment 2020

    How to apply

    You will have to add your personal details here and submit your supporting documents for a Letter of Eligibility here. If your application is successful, you will receive the Letter of Eligibility from NTUC’s e2i within 2 working days.

    Point-to-Point Support Package

    In February 2020, The Point-to-Point Support Package was introduced to help taxi and PHC drivers who have been affected by the virus. Eligible full-time taxi and PHC drivers can now receive up to SGD $300 per vehicle per month till the end of March 2021.

    Criteria

    • Must be existing main taxi hirers
    • Continue driving their taxis or remain in the PHC platform during the period of assistance

    How to apply

    All eligible drivers will receive relief from their respective taxi companies or PHC operations. Take note that drivers who have received the Special Relief Fund (SRF) will not be eligible for this grant.

    Enhanced Workfare Special Payment

    This grant will provide a cash payout of SGD $3,000 for all eligible Singaporeans, up from the quantum announced previously. They will be paid in 2 instalments of SGD $1,500 each in July and October 2020. The enhanced WSP will provide more help for low-wage workers aged 35 and above.

    Criteria

    • Singapore Citizen
    • 35 years old and above (person with disabilities of all ages will qualify)
    • Earn an average gross monthly income of not more than SGD $2,300 in a month

    How to apply

    If you are employed, you will be automatically assessed based on the CPF contribution from your employer. If you are self-employed, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will assess you in the following year after you declare your income to IRAS or CPFB and make the required MediSave contributions. Do take note: This grant finishes end of October 2020.

    Enhanced Care & Support Package

    The Enhanced Care & Support Package has been designed to help families and also individuals. Each eligible citizen will receive SGD $300, $600 or $900 (depending on their income). Parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 & below in 2020, will also receive an additional SGD $300 in cash. In addition, they will also receive the following:
    • All Singaporeans aged 50 and above in 2020 will receive SGD $100 PAssion Card top-up in cash
    • Singaporeans living in 1 room and 2 room HDB flats will receive SGD $300 in Grocery Vouchers and SGD $100 in 2021
    • If you have received Workfare payments for work done in 2019, you will also get SGD $3,000 in cash.
    Eligible Singaporeans will receive the payout directly in their designated bank account, together with their Care and Support cash payout.

    Greater Flexibility on Government Fees and Loans

    To help graduates who are worried about having to pay off their student loans while they try to find a job during this period, all student loan repayments and interest charges have been suspended for 1 year
  • from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021. This applies to graduates of autonomous universities and polytechnics. They have also added a 3 month suspension of late payment charges on HDB mortgage arrears. DDB will continue to provide assistance through existing measures such as deferring payment of loan installments for 6 months.

    Enhanced Property Tax Rebate for 2020

    Property Tax Rebate will be granted to owners of qualifying commercial properties (hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants), to help them with the cost pressure during this period. With this enhancement, owners will now be granted rebates of up to 100% of their property tax payable from 1 January
  • 31 December 2020.

    Criteria

    100% rebate for: 
    • Hotel room or function room of a registered hotel under the Hotels Act
    • Serviced apartment or serviced apartment function room
    • Premises of prescribed Meetings, MICE venues
    • Premises of a prescribed international cruise or regional ferry terminal
    • Shops and restaurants
    • Premises of tourist attractions
    60% rebate for: 
    • Marina Bay Sands
    • Resort World Sentosa
    30% rebate for: 
    • Premises used whether wholly or partly for an excluded purpose
    • The part of a carpark in the same building as premises mentioned above that corresponds to those premises
    • Any other premises in the same building as premises mentioned in the first point that are used or intended to be used for/or in connection with the operation or enjoyment of those premises
    • All non-residential properties

    How to apply

    IRAS will send out the rebate notices by 31 May 2020 to those qualifying owners. Qualifying owners can expect to receive their refunds by 30 June 2020.

    Enhanced Rental Waivers

    Stall owners at hawker centres and markets will now be applicable to the Enhanced Rental Waivers. The enhanced waivers will now be increased from 1 month to 3 months.

    Criteria and application

    • All stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators (includes both in the cooked food and market section of the centre)
    • Up to 2 months retail waiver for commercial and other non-residential tenants in the government properties
    • Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme will also be for food and beverage firms, with a total of 50% wage offset (capped at monthly of SGD $4,600).
    For more information regarding these waivers, you can contact NEA.

    Cash Flow Support

    During this period, the government will support those who are facing cash flow challenges, with the following support:
    • Expanded Temporary Bridging Loan Programme to all sectors and the maximum support loan extended to SGD $5 million
    • Increased maximum loan quantum to SGD $1 million under the Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan
    • Increased maximum loan quantum to SGD $10 million and Government risk-share to 80% under Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan
    • Increased subsidies for loan insurance premiums to 80% under the Loan Insurance Scheme 

    Criteria

    For Temporary Bridging Loan programme: 
    • A business entity that is registered and physically is in Singapore
    • At least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean or a PR
    For SME Working Capital Loan: 
    • A business entity that is registered and physically is in Singapore
    • At least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean or a PR
    • Maximum Borrower Group revenue cap od SGD $500 million for all enterprises
    • SME definition refers to Group revenue of up to SGD $1 million or a maximum of 200 employees
    For Trade Loan: 
    • Be registered and operating in Singapore
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Maximum Borrower Group revenue cap of SGD $500 million for all enterprises
    For the Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS):
    • A business entity that is registered and physically is in Singapore
    • At least 30% local equity held directly or indirectly by Singaporean or a PR
    • Group revenue of up to SGD $100 million or maximum employment of 200 employees

    How to apply

    You can click here to find out more information regarding the application process.

    Support for Capability Development

    The Capability Development Grant focuses on supporting the exposure to learning in diverse areas of functions and practices within the arts field. This grant can be used for workshops, masterclasses, seminars, conferences, residencies and other professional training programmes. This grant can support your organisation or you for these categories of training activities or programmes that span a duration of no more than 12 consecutive months.
    • The support level for Productivity Solutions Grants and Enterprise Development Grant has been raised to 80% and 90% respectively, till the end of 2020
    • Enhanced SMEs Go Digital to avoid physical meetups
    • Extended enhanced training support to more sections – higher course fee subsidies and payroll support till the end of the year

    Criteria

    For Productivity Solution Grants:
    • Registered and operating in Singapore
    • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions must be used in Singapore
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)
    For Enterprise Development Grant:
    • Registered and operating in Singapore
    • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
    • Be in a financially feasible position to start and complete the project

    How to apply

    For Productivity Solution Grants:
    • Visit Tech Depot and access the list of supportable solutions to identify the solution that suits you best
    • For IT solutions: Get a quotation from the pre-approved vendor
    • For equipment: Source for the equipment and get a quotation directly from the vendor
    • Submit an application on the Business Grants Portal
    For Enterprise Development Grant:  Take note that applications will be assessed by Enterprise Singapore. Find out more information regarding the application process here.

    Resilience Building

    The SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) programme will support funds set up by the TACs or industry groupings, aiming to help businesses who have suffered during this period. Under this programme, Enterprise Singapore will match SGD $1 for every SGD $2 raised by such initiatives, up to SGD $1 million per fund. Funding support for specialised cleaning under SG clean has also been introduced.

    Criteria and application

    For the criteria and application process for the STEER programme, contact Enterprise Singapore.

    Advanced Aviation Support Package

    The aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a minimum level of air connectivity as airlines continue to ground flights, via the Enhanced Jobs Scheme explained above, the government will pay 75% of the first SGD $4,600 of a local employee’s monthly pay (in the aviation sector). The Government has extended the support measures in the Enhanced Aviation Support Package for the sector. A total of $187 million will be allocated to extend the support from November 2020 to March 2021. For Airlines
    • 10% landing charge rebate for all scheduled passenger flights landing in Singapore;
    • 50% rebate on rental paid for airlines’ lounges and offices within Changi Airport and Seletar Airport terminal buildings; and
    • 100% rebate on aircraft parking charges at Changi Airport and Seletar Airport.
    For Ground Handlers 
    • 50% rebate on rental paid for ground handling companies’ lounges and offices within Changi Airport and Seletar Airport terminal buildings.

    Criteria

    All employers who have made CPF contributions for their Singaporean or PR employees will qualify for the payout except those who are in this list.

    How to apply

    Employers do not have to apply for this scheme. The grant that they receive will be computed based on the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution data. Employers will receive the payouts in 3 instalments: May, July and October 2020.

    Next steps

    During this tough period, it does not mean that you have to pause your business activities. If you are looking to set up a company, we can help you. Through our online platform, you do not even have to leave your home to begin! Contact us to get started or find out more information regarding these new grants. You can click here to view a PDF that was created by the Ministry of Finance. Talk to our sales team to get started!
  • Start a business in less than 3 hours with us. Talk to our experts today.

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