27 March 2020

Additional Support Measures in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic


1. The Singapore government has just unveiled a $48 billion package of measures to steer aid workers and business to cope with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Among the list of measures announced, the enhancement of the job support scheme (JSS), property tax rebate and skill upgrading for the workforce are most pertinent for our members.

Job Support Scheme

  • For every local worker in employment, the Government will co-fund of wages at 25%. Firms in the food services sector will receive higher support, at 50% of wages, and firms in the aviation, food services[1] and tourism sectors, which are the most badly affected sectors, will be supported at 75% of wages. 

Property Tax

  • Qualifying commercial properties that have been badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants need not pay Property Tax for the year 2020.

Upskilling of Workers

  • The government will enhance support for skill upgrading which will raise the course fee subsidies and absentee payroll to 90% for the aviation, tourism, food services, and retail trade sectors. In the same note, the government will also be providing additional cash flow relief when they send their workers for training.

3. More details and information of the resilience budget can be found at the Singapore Budget website.

4. SNBA welcomes these additional measures and support as it is timely and appropriate. However, there remain areas where more support can be provided. SNBA is fully committed to ensure our members’ needs can be addressed by the government in subsequent measures.

5. We are trying to organise a video conference and small meeting, next Tuesday evening, with Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) on the implication of the budget measures to our industry. Updates will be provided thereafter.

6. We are all in this together and must all look after one another in these trying times.  We will stand with one another, through thick and thin.  Let us continue to be on high vigilance as we front this outbreak.

[1]  The food shops and food stalls must be classified under one of the following SSIC codes – SSIC 56: Food and Beverage Service Activities; SSIC 68104: Letting and operating of self-owned or leased food courts, coffee shops and eating houses (with mainly rental income). Refer here for the detailed SSIC code list.