The Singapore Budget 2021 shifts gears from containing the Covid-19's spread to restructuring the economy by accelerating businesses' growth. The key areas are:
Also, there was a slew of measures to upskill the Singapore workforce and create more job opportunities for everyone while building towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient country.
In this article, you'll learn the details of the Singapore Budget 2021, how you can benefit from the initiatives, and the resources to apply for grants.
🏢 MNCs and LLEs
*Initiatives are designed for specific business size but not limited to other businesses where eligible.
The Government's COVID-19 Resilience Package is an $11 billion investment for those worst affected by the downturn. The funding — used strategically to invest in technology and training for the workforce and businesses — will help enterprises reposition themselves in the post-pandemic era.
🏢 🏡 💻 The Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan (EFS-TL): extended for another 6 months (until 30 September 2021). The maximum loan quantum remains at $10 million however the Government risk-share loans were lowered to 70% (previous 90%).
🏢 🏡 💻 The Enterprise Financing Scheme – Project Loan (EFS-PL): extended until 31 March 2022. The maximum loan quantum for domestic projects is $30 million and the Government’s risk-share of loans is up to 70%
🏢 🏡 💻 Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBL): extended for another 6 months ( until 30 September 2021). The maximum loan quantum: 1) $5 million until 31 March 2021, 2) $3 million from 1 April - 30 September 2021. The Government’s risk-share of loans: 1) 90% until 31 March 2021, 2) 70% from 1 April - 30 September 2021.
🏢 🏡 💻 Jobs Support Scheme (JSS): Extended to businesses in Tier 1 and 2 sectors by up to 6 months (up to September 2021). Tier 1 Sectors (Aviation, Aerospace, and Tourism) will receive 30% support for wages paid from April to June 2021 and 10% from July to September 2021. Tier 2 Sectors (e.g. Food Services, Retail, Marine & Offshore, and Arts and Entertainment) will receive 10% support for salaries paid from April to June 2021. Tier 3A Sectors will continue to receive 10% of wages paid until March 2021.
Tip: Not sure you’re in which tier? Find out here.
🏡 💻 The $285-million Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS) is set aside to invest in selected private startups to sustain their innovation and entrepreneurship activities during the pandemic. The support ends when the funds are fully committed or by 31 October 2021, whichever earlier.
🏢 🏡 💻 Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) Rebate provides FWL rebates ($90 per work permit holder) from October 2020 to December 2021 for businesses in the Construction, Marine Shipyard, and Process (CMP) sectors.
The Government is taking steps to encourage the adoption of digital technologies, create new sources of capital for local enterprises, and enhance our tax system. These changes will help Singapore best position itself in a post-COVID-19 world.
As Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong said, “When the sun shines again, we must be ready to seize the new opportunities.”
🏢 🏡 💻 NEW: A*STAR Partner’s Centre @ Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP)
Regional-ready Singapore enterprises can tap into the A*STAR Partner's Centre at Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) to build R&D competencies and co-develop technologies focusing on biomedical sciences and nanotech, and advanced manufacturing.
This collaboration helps companies accelerate their R&D and innovation pace by leveraging A* PC's scientific expertise, capabilities, and facilities.
Consisting of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and private sectors, SMA seeks to promote a network of industrial parks to manufacturers interested to invest in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Some of the benefits the eligible companies can apply are:
The DTDi allows companies expanding overseas to claim a 200% tax reduction for qualifying market expansion and investment development expenses. This is to boost international expansion for Singapore companies.
The deductions are subject to Enterprise Singapore’s or the Singapore Tourism Board's approval. Currently, no prior approval is required on the first $150,000 of qualifying expenses incurred on automatic DTDi activities. These activities include participation in overseas market development trips, overseas investment study trips, and trade fairs (local and abroad).
The alliance gives businesses access to overseas partners for co-innovation and market expansion. Phase 2 will scale up its network and expand the scope to include Enterprise Singapore’s co-innovation programmes (CIPs) — cross-border platforms that connect Singapore-based enterprises with overseas partners.
MRA provides in-depth FTA consultancy and support for overseas business development. The premium subsidy covers up to 80% of qualifying costs when taking up trade credit insurance (until 31 March 2022).
They provide market advisory services and trusted in-market business connections for businesses looking to expand in Southeast Asia and other markets.
From 2021 onwards, Singapore will focus on growing and accelerating technology, specifically in automation, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), trust technologies, and e-payments.
Businesses can also get support from the Government to uplevel their skills and capabilities essential for the future workplace.
🏡 100% Investment Allowance
For SMEs looking to embark on large-scale automation projects, they can apply for the 100% Investment Allowance for another 2 years until 31 March 2023. The allowance will be provided on the amount of approved capital expenditure, net of any grants received for the same qualifying expenditure.
Who is eligible: Projects that have received the Enterprise Development Grant under the Productivity and Innovation thrust (subject to conditions).
🏢 🏡 💻 Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
EDG provides support in 3 key areas: core capabilities, innovation and productivity, and internationalisation. EDG has been enhanced to cover up to 80% of qualifying costs and extended until 31 March 2022. Unionised enterprises and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) partners under the Labour Movement can qualify for an additional 10% funding, subject to NTUC-e2i’s endorsement. Apply here.
🏡 💻 NEW: Emerging Technology Programme
As more and more companies are shifting to hybrid teams (on-site and remote work), online collaboration and remote working technologies became a must-have. In this new business model, 5G and AI applications are fundamental to enhance productivity and provide capacity for the rapid expansion of digital adoption.
By focusing on developing and adopting AI, 5G and trust technologies, Singapore’s enterprises are prepared for the next technology evolution phase.
🏢 🏡 💻 Industry Digital Plans
The Singapore Government provides sector-specific step-by-step guides on relevant digital solutions for SMEs to adopt (including employee training). SMEs that adopt the Industry Digital Plans can also receive funding support from Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).
🏡 💻 Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
PSG provides a wide range of pre-scoped solutions, including IT solutions, equipment, and consultancy services. PSG has been enhanced to cover up to 80% of qualifying costs and extended until 31 March 2022.
Visit GoBusiness Gov Assist to access the list of supportable solutions and identify relevant solutions that best suit your business needs.
A whole slew of support is available under the SMEs Go Digital Programme to help businesses build digital capabilities.
Several energy-efficiency and green technology adoption schemes will be extended or rolled out to ensure sustainable growth.
In the energy efficiency area, 🏡 Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) and 🏢 Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy (REG(E)) provide funds and support to industrial facilities, power generation companies, and manufacturing companies and data centres, respectively, to invest in energy efficiency tech. Up to 50% of grant support of qualifying costs are available.
🏢 🏡 3R Fund
Eligible companies that want to reduce waste disposal at NEA’s incineration plants and disposal facilities can apply up to 80% grant of qualifying costs, subject to a cap of $1 million per project or per applicant.
Who is eligible? Projects that have increased recycled solid waste (excluding toxic and chemical waste) or less solid waste generated are eligible. The minimum tonnage is 100 tonnes reduced, reused, or recycled.
🏢 🏡 Investment Allowance - Emissions Reduction (IA-ER)
The current Investment Allowance - Energy Efficiency (IA-EE) will now be known as Investment Allowance - Emissions Reduction (IA-ER). It supports manufacturing companies and data centres to improve energy efficiency or reduce greenhouse gas emissions (either one).
IA-ER is now enhanced to cover both energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and will apply from 1 April 2021 to 31 December 2026.
With the right talent, network, and partnerships, businesses can accelerate their innovation efforts.
The Government’s effort in boosting innovation focuses on giving businesses access to people worldwide. Some of the schemes that will open the floodgates of innovation opportunities are:
There are also several schemes to support businesses in developing and testing new tech solutions.
Good news for startups! You can get a wide range of support, including training, physical space, talents, and fundings under the 🏡 Startup SG initiatives.
Although more details have yet to be released, entrepreneurs are anticipating the new Corporate Venture Launchpad. Through this launchpad, the Government aims to co-fund companies that build businesses by working with pre-qualified venture studios that bring a wide range of skills and expertise to the table.
The heart of a country is, without a doubt, its citizens. Recognizing the importance of people, the Government has enhanced and developed new initiatives to upskill workers to remain relevant to the industrial revolution.
One of the widest umbrellas is the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. The package aims to expand job, traineeship, and skills training opportunities for all Singaporeans. In turn, workers will acquire job-related skills and capabilities and access expanded employment opportunities.
Some of the initiatives parked under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package are:
Another wide umbrella that complements the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package is the SkillsFuture series.
This series offers short, industry-relevant training programmes in emerging and priority areas, such as data analytics, finance, tech-enabled services, digital media, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing, and urban solutions. Some of the initiatives parked under the SkillsFuture series are:
The Government aims to be as inclusive as possible by offering equal opportunities to all, including people with disabilities. We often see their disabilities first and overlook their skills and expertise that could drive the company’s and country’s growth.
Employers who are looking to employ people with disabilities can benefit from the support below:
Other jobs and skills support:
The Government is ready to offer all the support and training businesses need to grow amid the pandemic and keep up with the economy's growing demands.
Some of the support businesses can tap on are: