On February 18, 2022, Minister Lawrence Wong delivered his first address as Minister of Finance, announcing the much-anticipated Singapore Budget 2022.
Mr Wong emphasised the Singapore economy’s resurgence in his opening comments, underlining the country’s excellent comeback from one of its worst recessions since independence.
Mr Wong went on to say that the economy will expand at a consistent rate of 3% to 5% in 2022, according to predictions. This will be owing to an increase in worldwide vaccination and booster initiatives.
In addition, Mr Wong discussed and shared details about the different business support packages and schemes for SMEs. But don’t worry; we have archived all of the significant updates for you, split into two parts. So here’s all you need to know about it.
Jobs and Business Support Packages
The Minister announced a $500 million Jobs and Business Support Packages to assist firms and employees in specific sectors that the epidemic has disproportionately impacted. This Business Support Packages comprise of;
The Small Business Recovery Grant
Small firms in sectors most impacted by COVID-19 Safe Management Measures last year can apply for the Small Business Recovery Grant, a one-time cash payment. To be eligible, you must meet the following conditions:
- The firm must be a ‘live’ business entity with a physical presence in Singapore and must be registered before December 31, 2021.
- A firm must have an annual operating income of less than S$100 million, submitted with IRAS by 31 December 2021 for the Year of Assessment 2021, or employ less than 200 people as of 31 December 2021.
- The company must be in one of the following industries:
- Food and Beverage
- Hawker Centres, Markets, Coffee shops, Food Courts, and Canteens
- Performing Arts and Arts Education
- Cinema Operators
- Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites
- Indoor Playgrounds and other Family Entertainment Centres
- Tourism, Hospitality, Conventions, and Exhibitions
Sectors qualifying for Small Business Recovery Grant
|Industry||Criteria for Eligibility|
|Food and Beverages (F&B)||Entities must be categorised under SSICs 56 or 68104 and have valid Singapore Food Agency (SFA) licences.|
|Hawker Centres, Markets, Coffee Shops, Food Courts, and Canteens||Individually registered SFA-licensed operators and stallholders in markets, hawker centres, coffee shops, food courts, and canteens:
|Retail||A retail business that qualifies must meet the following criteria:
|Arts Education and the Performing Arts||Entities must comply with the following requirements:
|Sports||Gyms, fitness studios, and other sports facilities must comply with the following requirements:
|Operators of cinemas||Entities must comply with the following requirements:
|Historic Sites, Museums, and Art Galleries||Entities must comply with the following requirements:
|Indoor Playgrounds and other Centers for Family Entertainment||Entities must comply with the following requirements:
|Tourism, hospitality, conventions, and exhibitions||Licensed hotels that meet the criteria must be designated as SSIC 551.
According to the Annual Business Profile Returns filed to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in 2018, qualifying licenced travel agents must generate more than two-thirds of their revenue from their travel agency business.
Operators of cruise lines or cruise terminals are eligible. MICE venue operators (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) must be purpose-built MICE venue operators.
Organisers of MICE and tourist events must:
Operators of regional ferries must:
In the period from November 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, eligible enterprises will receive S$1,000 for each local employee who makes obligatory CPF payments, up to a maximum of S$10,000 per firm.
Suppose the local business owner earns a net trade income of less than S$100,000 and files with IRAS in the Year of Assessment 2021 by 31 December 2021. In that case, sole proprietorships and partnerships run by at least one local business owner but do not hire any local employees will receive a flat payout of S$1,000.
Starting in June 2022, IRAS will inform qualifying businesses. To get further information about the grant visit the IRAS website for the latest details.
- Only Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships, and Companies that have a ‘live’ business status with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) at the point of payout are eligible for Small Business Recovery Grant. Operators and stallholders in markets, hawker centres, coffee shops, food courts, and canteens are eligible if they have valid Singapore Food Agency (SFA) licences as of 31 December 2021 and also continue to hold an active licence at the point of payout. Societies registered under Section 4 or 4A of the Societies Act in the following sectors are also eligible: Performing Arts and Arts Education; Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites; and Sports.
- Eligible firms for Small Business Recovery Grant will receive S$1,000 for each local employee. Employees who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. This includes employees in a company who are also shareholders and directors of the company (shareholder-directors) who are receiving CPF contributions in respect of salaries paid under a contract of service with annual assessable income less than or equal to S$100,000. Other types of business owners (i.e. sole proprietors and partners in a partnership) are not considered employees.
- Mandatory CPF contributions must be made by the stipulated contribution deadline which is from 1 November 2021 to 31 December 2021.
- A registered business owner who is a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident is eligible for a Business Recovery Grant.
- The sectors that qualify for the Small Business Recovery Grant are the same sectors that were eligible for Jobs Support Scheme payouts from November 2021 to December 2021. SSIC definitions listed are based on the classification structure of SSIC 2015 (v. 2018)
The Extension of Jobs Growth Incentive
Employers can get wage help from the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to hire more people locally. The JGI will be extended for another six months, until September 2022, at stepped down salary support rates, and will only apply to businesses that employ mature workers aged 40 and up who have been out of work for six months or more, as well as other specified individuals like specially-abled people or ex-offenders. MOM will share more details at their Committee of Supply (COS).
To receive the JGI payout, the employers need to meet specific eligibility criteria. Eligible employers do not need to apply for the payout but would automatically receive it, which will be computed on a monthly basis based on the employer’s mandatory CPF contributions. However, some employers may receive review letters from IRAS that require them to substantiate their eligibility further.
Part 2 of this article will cover more support packages for SMEs in 2022. So don’t forget to read that to get a full view of how you can leverage these schemes for your business’s growth and a bright future.