How Does The Latest 2021 Lockdown Affect Local Businesses?
The COVID-19 cases are rising again in many countries, including Singapore, due to the newly found variant in India, Delta. The resurgence of the coronavirus has forced Singapore to reimpose lockdown-like conditions again to curb the spread of the virus.
Some of the major measures include banning dine-in and limiting gathering to only two people. These conditions are putting enormous pressure on businesses and the overall economy of the country. Amid the pandemic, the travel industry is the most affected one.
Before the resurgence of the infection, it was highly expected that the travel bubble with Hong Kong would continue to facilitate the people of these countries. However, the current conditions have put such plans in great doubt.
The trend of coronavirus cases in other countries like Indonesia also reflects negative situations despite the increasing number of vaccinated individuals. The authorities are implementing strict public health measures.
The aforementioned measures in place, along with widespread testing, have led to almost complete eradication of the local spread of the coronavirus. However, the reports that the new variant is likely to be more transmissible and infectious are worrisome for businesses and the country in general.
Currently, most of the cases are being reported from incoming travellers who are quickly isolated in quarantine after arriving in the country. Another challenge is that most of the new cases are not directly linked to other cases, making it difficult to control the situation in the next few months shall the same trend continues.
It is highly possible that the local spread of the virus is increasing again due to the rising number of cases in the city-state’s airport where visitors, workers, and taxi drivers are the most vulnerable people to the virus.
The new restrictions are certainly expected to negatively impact local businesses and the economy of Singapore. The authorities have introduced several schemes and programs to facilitate the businesses in getting through the financial issues created by the pandemic.
However, just like last year, the lockdown will affect the economy in many different ways. For instance, the expected travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is in great jeopardy due to the new cases. As a result, it will result in significant losses to the economy.
An uplifting fact about the current situation in Singapore is that about 23% of the population has been vaccinated, which is much better than many other countries in Asia. The authorities are currently working in implementing more strict measures on airports to prevent an increase in the local cases of coronavirus.
Measures to Support Different Industries
The government has introduced many different schemes and programs since the start of the pandemic to support different business in different sectors:
Aviation and Tourism
The authorities have announced an additional S$187 million, along with the existing S$350 million, to provide relief to airlines by covering essential financial expenses and giving tax incentives.
The tourism industry is also getting S$90 million from the government for a strong rebound as the pandemic has severely impacted the tourism industry. Moreover, the government is planning to provide additional financial support to local businesses in the tourism industry.
The new ban on dine-in is going to severely impact the jobs in the F&B industry, just like the strict lockdown imposed last year. The Singapore government is committed to mitigating these impacts by increasing the job support subsidies for food and beverage companies, along with a one-month rental waiver for coffee shops. This will support a lot of local businesses operating in the food industry.
In a Nutshell
The bottom line is that the restrictions placed by the government will certainly affect businesses in the short term, but bear in mind that these restrictions are introduced to make sure the COVID-19 situation is stabilized the earliest, and the country does not have to move towards a complete lockdown.
It is recommended that local businesses use the professional services of accounting firms in Singapore to get help in getting tax incentives and benefits from the financial schemes and programs.
The accounting firm will also facilitate the business in important functions like business valuation so that the companies have full knowledge about their financial condition and can plan accordingly to survive the global crisis.
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