S$1.1b Covid-19 support package to aid workers, businesses hit by tighter measures

Tan Nai Lun
Published Fri, Jul 23, 2021 · 02:00 PM

A S$1.1 billion support package is being rolled out to aid workers and businesses affected by Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, including an enhanced Job Support Scheme (JSS) for affected sectors and additional support for hawkers and market stallholders, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Friday.

The support package will come from reallocations made possible by underutilisation of funds due to Covid-19 as well as fiscal resources set aside earlier in the event of an extension of support measures, MOF said.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said in an Instagram video post on Friday: "I've been engaging, virtually, our business leaders and trade associations to get their feedback and to see how the government can provide better support."

Based on the inputs, the support package was put together to help businesses and workers "tide through this heightened alert period", Mr Wong added.

From July 22 to Aug 18, JSS support will be enhanced to 60 per cent for sectors where tightened measures will suspend many or all activities. This would include food and beverage (F&B) outlets, gyms, fitness studios, performing arts organisations, and arts education centres.

For other sectors significantly affected by the restrictions - including the retail sector, affected personal care services, tourist attractions, licensed hotels, cruise and regional ferry operators, MICE organisers, travel agents, museums, art galleries, cinema operators, and other family entertainment centres - JSS support will be increased to 40 per cent for the same period.

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The JSS support will fall to 10 per cent from Aug 19 to 31.

Qualifying tenants of government-owned commercial properties will receive a four-week rental waiver, while those of privately-owned commercial properties will get a two-week rental relief cash payout.

Stallholders in centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators will receive a one-off cash assistance of S$500 per stallholder under the new Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund. This is on top of the current one-month rental waivers and one-month subsidy for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services fees.

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has also reintroduced the Food Delivery Booster Package to defray food delivery costs from July 22 to Aug 18. ESG will fund five percentage points of commission cost charged by food delivery platforms and 20 per cent of delivery costs for food delivery orders through third-party logistics partners.

The Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund will be extended from July 22, providing eligible drivers with an additional S$10 per vehicle per day till Aug 31, and an additional S$5 per vehicle per day till Sept 30.

The Covid-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T) will be extended to Aug 31, while existing CRG-T recipients who continue to require assistance can apply for a second CRG-T support payout.

The CRG-T provides a payout of up to S$700 for those placed on involuntary no-pay leave, and up to S$500 who have lost at least half of their income for at least one month due to tightened safe management measures since May 16.

Singapore returned to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from July 22 to Aug 18, after a spike in community-transmitted Covid-19 cases prompted authorities to tighten safe management measures.

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