Budget 2021 – Overview


After an unprecedented year in which Singapore experienced its worst recession since independence, the global battle against COVID-19 remains far from over. The countryโ€™s GDP contracted by 5.4% in 2020. Its overall budget deficit last year was also the largest since independence, standing at $64.9 billion.

Budget 2021 introduces new measures, as well as enhances existing initiatives, to help your business deal with short-term challenges as you prepare for long-term growth.

In his Budget 2021 speech on Tuesday (Feb 16), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the Singapore Government has a S$24 billion plan to help its firms and workers adapt to a post-COVID-19 world, and it includes raising grants and extending training initiatives.

Here is a round-up of what SMEs can expect.

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
As announced at Budget 2021, the enhanced maximum support level of up to 80% will be extended from 30 September 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. This grant supports projects that help you upgrade your business, innovate, or venture overseas. The grant funds qualifying project costs namely third-party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
As announced at Budget 2021, the maximum support level of up to 80% will be extended for 6 months, until 31 March 2022. MRA will also be enhanced to include Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) as a supportable area under the overseas market set-up pillar with effect from 1 April 2021.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive an international boost with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to help take your business overseas.

Eligible SMEs will receive the following support:
– Up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new market* from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023 that covers:
– Overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000)
– Overseas business development (capped at S$50,000)
– Overseas market set-up (capped at S$30,000)

Each application is limited to one activity in a single overseas market (e.g., market entry, or participation in a trade fair)

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
Technology is not about fancy and expensive high-end solutions. You can kick-start your technology journey by taking simple steps to automate existing processes and improve productivity. The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports companies keen on adopting IT solutions and equipment to enhance business processes.

These solutions have been pre-scoped by various government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore, National Environmental Agency (NEA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

As announced at Budget 2021, the enhanced maximum support level of up to 80% will be extended from 30 September 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The list of readily adoptable solutions can be found on GoBusiness Gov Assist. Applicants should consider their business needs to select the relevant and right-sized PSG support packages.

Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant (SWEAG)
The Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant (SWEAG) was introduced as part of the Senior Worker Support Package to provide businesses up to $250,000 and $125,000 respectively to implement key recommendations to support older workers. Supports businesses in raising their company-level retirement and reemployment age above the minimum statutory requirements.
From 16 Feb 2021, the grant will be streamlined to a single tier to benefit companies who increase their internal retirement and reemployment ages by three years or more. The minimum Retirement Age (RA) and Re-employment Age (REA) will be raised to 65 and 70 respectively by 2030. The first increases to 63 and 68 respectively will take effect from 1 July 2022. Companies will also be required to adopt the Tripartite Standard on Age-Friendly Workplace Practices to qualify for the grant.

Part-time Re-employment Grant (PTRG)
The Part-time Re-employment Grant will be adjusted to provide eligible companies with $2,500 for each senior worker aged 60 and above, capped at 50 workers and $125,000 per company. Employers are eligible when they commit to a re-employment policy where they would provide part-time re-employment opportunities to eligible senior workers who request for it. These arrangements benefit seniors who prefer lower work intensity and encourage them to stay in the workforce. The grants help firms adjust to the impending raises in retirement and re-employment ages in 2022.

Useful Resources:
Budget 2021 for businesses: Booklet
Find out more on the new and enhanced measures will help you transform your business, seize new opportunities, and emerge stronger.

Budget 2021 website
Learn more about all the different initiatives announced at Budget 2021.