Government Grant Funding For Small Businesses

Government Grant Funding For Small Businesses – 1. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong announced a $1.5 billion support package to provide targeted and immediate assistance to low-income and more vulnerable groups. The package will also provide greater assistance to local businesses in their business and workforce transformation. This builds on the support measures announced in Budget 2022 and April 2022.

2. The government expected price growth at the beginning of the year and responded with an extensive package of measures in the 2022 budget to reduce the effects of higher prices. Some budget measures have been implemented, and others will continue to be implemented in the coming months. Budget 2022 also announced support measures to mitigate the impact of VAT increases in January 2023 and January 2024.

Government Grant Funding For Small Businesses

3. In April 2022, the Government proposed the payment of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers to all households in Singapore by May 2022 and the Small Business Recovery Grant for SMEs by June 2022. duration of ComCare short to medium term assistance and second round of public transport vouchers.

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4. However, the ongoing war in Ukraine as well as continued Covid-19 restrictions in parts of the world have disrupted supply chains and resulted in higher energy and food prices. These factors led to a sharper-than-expected increase in inflation in major economies. Global inflation is likely to remain high for some time and may even rise further before stabilizing and improving. Also, in Singapore we must prepare for higher prices in the coming months. Energy prices are particularly likely to remain high in the second half of the year.

5. Given the recent circumstances, the government will provide a support package of USD 1.5 billion to provide immediate and targeted assistance, especially to low-income and vulnerable groups. A summary of the measures in the package can be found in the table below, and details can be found in the appendix. The package is funded by better-than-expected fiscal performance for FY2021, resulting from higher revenues due to a stronger economic recovery in 2021 and lower-than-budgeted costs for covid-19 measures as the Omicron variant proved less severe than expected. There will be no further draw on previous reserves.

A) First, the additional fiscal support should avoid the occurrence of additional inflationary pressures. The measures therefore aim to give more help to low-income earners and vulnerable groups, who are disproportionately affected by higher prices.

B) Second, we should not distort price signals, as they are needed to guide our economic restructuring and transformation. In particular, we must continue our efforts to address climate change and care for our rapidly aging population. These structural measures will enable us to transition to a more sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. However, we recognize that some companies face higher operating costs in the short term and may need additional support. That’s why we will do more to support businesses and workers through this transition.

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C) Third, we must advance our medium-term agenda and chart our way forward in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. There is still much uncertainty about how long-lasting or how deep the challenges will be.

· GSTV – Special cash payment of up to $300 in addition to the regular GSTV cash received this year.

· One-off relief of $150 for qualified taxi drivers and private hire car drivers in August 2022.

· Up to US$300 in cash under the NTUC Freelance and Self-Employed Assistance Scheme (U FSE) for combined bus drivers, limousine drivers, delivery drivers and motorcycle drivers who are members of the union. An application is required.

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· The Government’s co-financed share of the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) support for 2022 will increase from 50% to 75% for wages up to USD 2,500 (tier one) and from 30% to 45% for wages above USD 2,500 dollars up to $3,000 (second tier).

· Businesses can continue to benefit from the current stimulus for job growth until September 2022, when mature jobseekers who have not worked for at least six months, as well as people with disabilities or ex-offenders, will be hired. To maintain support for employers of vulnerable workers, we will extend JGI for a further six months until March 2023. MOM will provide more information on the JGI extension closer to its deadline.

· A one-month foreign worker exemption for Singapore’s 11 chicken slaughterhouses to support businesses affected by chicken export bans.

· Energy efficiency grants for local SMEs in food services, food manufacturing and retail with up to 70% support for using energy efficient equipment in pre-approved categories.

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· Enterprise Funding Scheme – Maximum trade loan loan amount increased to $10 million from 1 July 2022 to 31 March 2023; increased the share of risk by 70% during this period.

· Enterprise Funding Scheme – Maximum loan amount for SME Working Capital Loan increased to $500,000 from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, following the expiry of the Temporary Bridging Loan Scheme on 30 September 2022 .

7. GSTV – Cash recipients[1] will receive a special payment of up to $300 in additional cash in August 2022. About 1.5 million Singaporeans will be eligible for the special payment and will be notified of their payments in August 2022.

8. A credit of US$100 will be paid to each household in Singapore to offset utility bills.

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9. To ensure constant and continuous support for low-income people and the elderly, two systems will be improved:

A) ComCare will be strengthened to provide additional assistance to SMTA or LTA households. A one-person household on ComCare LTA will receive a higher cash assistance of $640 per month, an increase of $40 from the current rate of $600 per month. Households with more members will receive more. Those applying for a ComCare SMTA or applying to renew their existing SMTA can also expect to receive more cash support and support for their utility costs. The amount of assistance will vary depending on the composition of the household, needs and income.

B) The Singapore allowance and monthly pension for retirees drawing lower pensions will increase by US$30 to US$350 and US$1280 respectively.

10. The Progressive Pay Credit Scheme (PWCS) was announced in Budget 2022 as a way for the Government to co-fund pay rises for our lower paid workers during Progressive Pay Movements. To provide further assistance to these workers, we will increase the share of government co-financing of eligible wage increases in 2022 from 50% to 75% for resident employees with gross monthly wages up to $2,500 (tier one) and from 30% to 45 % for employees with gross monthly salaries over $2,500 and up to $3,000 (second degree). All other existing scheme parameters remain unchanged.

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11. The Jobs Growth Scentive (JGI) supports employers to hire mature jobseekers who have not worked for at least six months, as well as people with disabilities or ex-offenders. The current phase of JGI will end in September 2022. To maintain support for employers of vulnerable workers, we will extend JGI for another six months until March 2023. MOM will provide more information on the continuation of JGI closer to its end.

12. Rising fuel prices have raised costs for many self-employed people who depend on their vehicles for a living, while a ban on live chicken exports from Malaysia has reduced stocks at chicken slaughterhouses. We will provide targeted assistance to these groups.

13. Eligible taxi masters and private car drivers will receive a one-off relief of $150 in August 2022.

14. Combination bus and limousine drivers who are members of the National Private Hire Vehicle Association, and delivery drivers and motorcycle drivers who are members of the National Association of Delivery Champions will be eligible to apply for the NTUC U FSE Relief Scheme 2022 Successful applicants will receive a one-time fee of up to $300. More information about NTUC U FSE Relief Scheme 2022 will be provided in August 2022.

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15. The government will also provide a one-month foreign worker exemption for 11 chicken slaughterhouses in Singapore, whose employees’ livelihoods depend on the supply of live chickens. This will help preserve industry capacity amid the export ban.

16. More generally, the government will implement measures to help companies cope with rising energy costs by co-financing investments in more energy-efficient equipment. This is a more sustainable way to help our businesses deal with energy prices that are out of our control.

17. A new energy efficiency grant will give local food services, food production and retail SMEs support of up to 70% to use energy efficient equipment in pre-approved categories. These are sectors that are significantly affected by higher electricity prices, in terms of the impact on their overall business costs. The grant will support such companies to improve their energy efficiency and mitigate rising business costs

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