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Fortitude Budget enhances rental support to SMEs; rental waivers to be mandated
Article originally posted on EdgeProp.
The Singapore government is extending its rental relief support to benefit more small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat. He said this in a parliamentary address on May 26 to unveil the government’s proposed fourth budget — named the Fortitude Budget — to support the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DPM, who is also the Finance Minister, stated that many businesses, especially SMEs, have voiced their difficulties in meeting rental costs at this time. “We will significantly add to the support for rental costs earlier provided through the Property Tax Rebate for 2020 in the Unity and Resilience Budgets,” says DPM Heng.
The government will provide a cash grant to offset the rental costs of SME tenants, which will be disbursed through property owners. The grant will cost the government about $2 billion in total, and will be disbursed automatically from the end of July.
DPM Heng says that together with the previously announced Property Tax Rebate, the government will offset about two months of rental for qualifying SME tenants of commercial properties. This translates to about a month’s rent for qualifying SME tenants in industrial and office properties. SME property owners who run a trade or business on their own property will also be eligible for the new cash grant. This new grant comes on top of the $1.8 billion set aside for the Property Tax Rebate.
To ensure that SME tenants benefit from this handout, the government will table a new Bill that will mandate that landlords grant a rental waiver to their SME tenants, “who have suffered a significant revenue drop in the past few months”, says the DPM.
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