Singapore Budget 2021: Top 5 Things Business Owners Need To Know

Singapore has experienced its worst recession since independence where the global battle against COVID-19 remains far from over.

The theme for the Budget 2021 was around Emerging Stronger Together, with measures to help families, workers and businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis in the immediate term, with measures to accelerate structural adaptations for the long term.

In our article we will be focusing on the help and support available for businesses as part of the 2021 Singapore Budget.

1. Extension of Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) 

To help businesses retain local employees, the government is extending the JSS by up to six months until September 2021. 

Tier 1 (Aviation, aerospace, and tourism)

Tier 2 (retail, arts & culture, food services and built environment)

Tier 3A sectors (which covers employers in all other sectors)

Tier 3B (supermarkets and Internet companies)

  • The JSS is extended by six months


  • Firms will receive 30% support for wages paid from April to June 2021


  • Firms will receive 10% support for wages paid from July to September 2021


  • The JSS will be extended by three months


  • Firms will receive 10% support them for wages paid from April to June 2021


  • The Arts and Culture Resilience Package and Sports Resilience Package will also be extended to support businesses and self-employed persons in these sectors


  • The JSS will be extended to March 2021, as these sectors are generally recovering


  • The JSS support will be discontinued after December 2020, as such sectors are managing and recovering well.


2. Industry Transformation Maps 

$24 billion will be allocated over the next three years to help businesses and workers ‘emerge stronger’ beyond the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How will this $24 billion be used? Singapore will move swiftly to: 

Develop a vibrant business community by catalysing a wide range of capital to enable businesses to transform and scale and also, redesign jobs to create new job opportunities for Singaporeans to develop their skills, creativity, and talents. 

3. How will Singapore Develop a Vibrant Business Community?

To emerge stronger, the Singapore Government is looking to deepen Singapore’s position as Global Asia node in the following ways:

a) Restoring physical connectivity and transforming the aviation sector for recovery

To improve global connectivity during COVID-19 and adapt to the changing aviation landscape, Singapore will implement on-arrival testing and biosafety systems at Changi Airport to verify the authenticity of digital COVID-19 test result certificates and vaccination records to restore its position as a global travel hub.

b) Creating platforms for nurturing creative Ideas

To remain competitive businesses will need to innovate and start collaborating on a global scale. To support Singapore business the Government will invest in 3 platforms highlighted:
 Corporate Venture Launchpad  Open Innovation Platform (OIP)  Global Innovation Alliance (GIA)

  • Drives the building of new innovative ventures
  • Co-funding for corporates to build new ventures through pre-qualified venture studios, which is useful for larger businesses that want to rekindle a start-up mindset within their organisations



  • Facilitates the matching of problems faced by firms and public agencies with solution providers, in addition to co-funding the prototyping and deployment of solutions
  • The OIP will be further enhanced with new features such as a cloud-based Digital Bench for accelerated virtual prototyping and testing


  • Serves to catalyse cross-border partnerships between Singapore and major innovation hubs globally
  • The existing network comprises 15 city links at this time; this will be expanded to over 25 cities over the next five years


4. Capital to Enable Businesses to Transform and Scale

The Singapore Government will step up risk-sharing arrangements with providers of capital, and provide grants, to support businesses at various stages of growth:

  • For high growth enterprises and start-ups, the Government will extend and enhance the Enterprise Financing Scheme - Venture Debt programme. Within this scheme the Government shares up to 70% of the risk on eligible loans with Participating Financial Institutions (up to $8 Million SGD)
  • For mature enterprises, from micro and small, to medium and large enterprises, the Government will co-fund their adoption of digital solutions and new technologies through:
    • Emerging Technology Programmes to co-fund the costs of trials and adoption of frontier technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence and trust technologies
    • CTO-as-a-Service initiatives which aim to provide access to professional IT consultancies
    • An extension up to March 2022 and the enhancement (up to 80% support level) of the Scale-up SG programme, Productivity Solutions Grant, Market Readiness Assistance Grant, and Enterprise Development Grant that co-funds up to 80% of their capital
  • For Large Local Enterprises, that are ready to transform or expand overseas on a larger scale, the Government will complement existing grants and loans, to support them through non-controlling equity investments. Temasek will also invest with the Government into this Platform.
  • The Government will also support companies in different growth stages and focus on the transformation of entire value chains – where each player in the chain works together to integrate and digitalise processes and upskill their workers. 

5. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for Job Redesign 

Introduced by Enterprise Singapore, the PSG Grant is a Singapore government subsidy to encourage businesses in Singapore to take on IT solutions costs and solutions to streamline business operations. 

Xero is an online cloud accounting software system that Hawksford set-ups for their clients to help them digitalise and automate accounting processes. Eligible companies using Xero will be able to claim up to 80% on IT solutions and equipment’s including Xero which will help to increase business productivity.

To learn more about how your company could digitalise your accounting and tax using Xero, speak to our experts here.

Still have more questions about the Singapore budget? Attend one of our budget webinars.


American Chamber of Commerce Budget Webinar

Italian Chamber of Commerce Budget Webinar


23 Feb 2021

25 Feb 2021


5 – 6 pm SGT

5 – 6 pm SGT


American Chamber of Singapore Members: Free

British Chamber of Singapore Non-Members: S$18





Online webinars


Hui Min Foo

Partner, at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Prof Annie Koh
Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University
Emeritus of Finance

Salvatore Di Chiara (Moderator)
Head of Account Management at Hawksford


Salvatore Di Chiara

Head of Account Management at Hawksford


Matilda Gjini

Account Management Administrator at Hawksford Singapore


Singapore Budget 2021 - Looking Ahead

Singapore Budget 2021

Registration link

Register here

Register here

For full information, please visit the government website.

This article is intended for general information only and is not intended to apply to any specific situations or to constitute legal advice.

Unsure how these changes will affect your current or potential business in Singapore?

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