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Enterprise Singapore to Re-Introduce E-Commerce Subsidy Schemes

Food outlets and retailers affected by COVID-19 Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions in Singapore will get help to offset their delivery costs and to go online with Enterprise Singapore’s reintroduced e-commerce subsidy schemes.

The food delivery and e-commerce subsidy schemes were first introduced in April 2020 during Singapore’s “circuit breaker” period and removed as restrictions eased. They have been made available again to help businesses diversify their revenue channels and defray costs of going online, Enterprise Singapore said the first day the tightened rules kicked in. The support is available to businesses that are new to digital channels as well as those already selling via food delivery or e-commerce platforms, it added.

Enterprise Singapore will fund 5 percentage points of the commission cost charged by the three food delivery platforms. In the same period, the agency will fund 20% of the delivery costs for food delivery orders made through third-party logistic partners. Collectively, these players serve a large majority of the food delivery market, said Enterprise Singapore.

To be eligible for the Food Delivery Booster Package, F&B businesses must sell food that was prepared on-premises for immediate consumption. This includes smaller establishments like hawker stalls and cafes and larger ones like food caterers and restaurants. F&B businesses already on any of the three food delivery platforms will automatically benefit from the lower commission cost. For the rest, they can approach the platforms to find out more.

Per news reports, before Enterprise Singapore’s announcement, an international ride-hailing and food delivery platform said it will provide full commission rebates for stall owners operating in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency. For other food outlets, it will give a 50% rebate on commissions for additional food delivery orders as compared to their current level of sales or the previous month’s sales.

Also, participating e-commerce platforms will work with sellers to curate and list products for at least six months, participate in promotion campaigns, fulfil orders and perform basic data analytics of sales. Each retailer can apply with only one e-commerce platform with whom it has no existing account.

Other support measures for businesses include those introduced earlier such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme to help companies access working capital. The programme has been extended to Sep 30.

Schemes such as the Productivity Solutions Grant and Enterprise Development Grant, both of which help to lower the costs of digitalisation and other transformation efforts, have also been extended to Mar 31 next year.

The Government has also increased support for F&B businesses under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) to 50% from the 10% support of wages paid up to June 2021. Hawker stalls and coffee shop tenants of government agencies will also get a one-month rental relief.

Singapore tightened safe distancing restrictions from Sunday to June 13 to curb a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. Group gatherings are capped at two and dining-in at food outlets has been suspended, while working from home will again be the default at workplaces.

Enterprise Singapore acknowledged that companies may have concerns about the additional resources required to deal with the tighter COVID-19 restrictions. They stated that they are providing support through the booster packages to help defray some of these operational costs. More importantly, they urge F&B and retail businesses who have yet to get onboard e-commerce to tap these packages to adapt their business models for online sales.

For those already selling via food delivery or e-commerce platforms, Enterprise Singapore hopes that this support can help them onboard additional platforms to widen their existing sales channels.

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