Budget 2022: S$500m support package for businesses in ‘still struggling’ sectors, including one-time cash grant

SINGAPORE: Workers and businesses in sectors that are “still struggling” as part of the broader economic recovery will receive help through a S$500 million support package, which will include payments for certain businesses.

The measure, known as the Jobs and Business Support Scheme, was announced by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday February 18 as part of Budget 2022.

Under this program, one-time cash grants will be awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been most affected by COVID-19-related restrictions over the past year, such as those in catering. , retail, tourism and hospitality sectors.

These SMEs will receive a payment of S$1,000 per local employee, up to a cap of S$10,000 per company, Wong said.

“Local sole proprietors and partnerships in eligible sectors, as well as street vendors (licensed by the Food Agency of Singapore), merchants and coffee shops, who do not hire local employees, will also receive a payment of S$1,000,” he added.

EXTENSION OF EMPLOYMENT AND LOAN PROGRAMS

In addition, Mr Wong said the job growth incentive – which was due to expire in March – will now be extended for another six months until September this year, with “reduced support rates reflecting the ‘improvement of labor market conditions’.

“This extension will cover those who have more difficulty finding employment, such as older workers who have not been employed for six months or more, people with disabilities and ex-offenders,” he said.

The scheme was introduced in 2020 to encourage employers to hire locals, providing wage support to eligible businesses and workers.

Wong also said the aviation sector will continue to receive targeted assistance, including measures to ensure public health and safety at the airport, while safeguarding core capabilities.

“We need to preserve and improve our status as an international aviation hub,” Wong said, adding that more details will be shared at the Department of Transport’s procurement committee.

“As our economy reopens, the hardest hit sectors should gradually see their prospects improve. In the meantime, these support measures will provide temporary relief to our businesses and workers.”

HELPING BUSINESSES DEAL WITH RISING COSTS

Mr Wong noted that the authorities were closely monitoring the risk of upside inflation, driven mainly by a recovery in global demand amid ongoing supply chain problems and rising oil prices. ‘energy.

For businesses, soaring material costs and electricity prices have caused cash flow problems, he said.

To meet their cash needs, the authorities will extend the temporary bridging loan program and the enhanced commercial loan program, with revised parameters, for another six-month period – from April 1 to September 30.

The first initiative provides companies with access to working capital, while the second covers their trade financing needs. The new parameters include, among other things, lower maximum loan amounts.

In addition, access to project loans for the national construction sector will also be extended for one year, from April 1 this year to March 31, 2023.

It is to help construction companies deliver domestic projects amid rising costs and tight cash flow, authorities said.

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