Businesses hoping for bigger second stimulus package
Businesses here are hoping for more support from the Government in the form of a larger second stimulus package as the global economy worsens amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) in a statement yesterday cited a poll it conducted on March 13. It showed 73 per cent of businesses believe that the second stimulus package should be as large or larger than the $4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during Budget 2020.
Just over half of the 188 respondents hope the new package can be rolled out immediately or in a month's time, which signals an urgency for the second stimulus package to be disbursed soon, the SBF said.
The findings of the poll were shared with DPM Heng, who is also Finance Minister, and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing at a closed-door dialogue organised by SBF with more than 40 business leaders last Friday.
The SBF represents 27,200 companies. One of its key functions is to be a bridge between businesses and the Government to create a conducive business environment.
SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng said in the statement: "It is more important than ever for the business community to rally together to help one another.
"At the end of the day, we're all in this together and have a responsibility to collaborate with our suppliers, customers, employees, peers as well as the Government to protect jobs and keep businesses moving."
The poll found businesses said they needed more support for defraying wage costs, more tax rebates and help with manpower challenges, which include hiring and retaining workers.
About 13 per cent of businesses also want more support in managing cash flow while 11 per cent said they required help in covering rental costs.
SBF chief executive Ho Meng Kit advised the business community to follow advisories issued by the government agencies.
"It's uncertain how long the Covid-19 outbreak may last.
"We urge the business community to work on contingency and scenario-planning to figure out how best to navigate the fast-changing situation."