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Fortitude Budget: Up to S$5,000 payouts for F&B, retail businesses that go digital

THE Singapore government will allocate more than S$500 million to support businesses in their digital transformation, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Tuesday.

For one, a new Digital Resilience Bonus will help businesses in digitalising their operations. 

This will be first introduced for the food and beverage (F&B) and retail sectors, which are the most affected by the safe-distancing requirements, Mr Heng said.

Eligible business can receive a payout of up to S$5,000 if they adopt PayNow Corporate and e-invoicing, as well as business process or e-commerce solutions.

“We will enhance our support for businesses which are ready to take their basic payment and invoicing functions digital,” Mr Heng said on Tuesday. “This will be coupled with support to keep their business running and even acquire new revenue lines.”

In addition, businesses that already have basic digital capabilities and want to deepen their digitalisation will get support to make use of advanced digital tools in an integrated way.

The Digital Resilience Bonus will have an additional tier of S$5,000 for F&B and retail businesses that incorporate advanced solutions.

There will also be S$250 million set aside to help businesses digitalise in partnership with platform solution providers and industry champions, such as by developing offline-to-online business models to access new domestic revenue streams and international demand.

As for those who are not using any digital tools, the Singapore government will help them get started.

Hawkers are encouraged to go cashless and use electronic payments (e-payments). A bonus of S$300 per month, for five months, will be provided to encourage more stallholders in hawker centres, wet markets, coffee shops and industrial canteens to use e-payments. 

This bonus will come from the Infocomm Media Development Authority, National Environment Agency, JTC, Housing & Development Board and Enterprise Singapore.

Mr Heng said that the e-payment take-up by businesses has risen “sharply”, with 50,000 more businesses adopting PayNow Corporate since April this year.

“Those who are willing to transform will not be left behind,” he said.

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