SINGAPORE – 26 MARCH 2020 The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) has welcomed stimulus measures proposed by DPM Heng Swee Keat in the $48 billion Resilience Budget.
We understand and respect the gravity of the decision to draw on past reserves to fund the measures that were proposed today to ensure the wellbeing of Singaporeans during this unprecedented health, economic and social crisis.
The announcement of key measures to protect livelihoods, save jobs and support enterprises shows that the Government understands the difficulties that the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) community is facing as a result of the continued impact of COVID-19 on the Singaporean economy and has taken important steps to address the impacts on our members.
The expansion, extension and enhancement of wage support measures in the jobs support scheme to 75 per cent of wages will help workers and business owners in our community survive COVID-19 and retain the capability to rebound quickly in the recovery that follows. The support for self-employed persons will also provide valuable support to freelancers in the MICE community.
Automatic measures to ease business cash flow by deferring income tax payments for three months will relieve immediate pressure on business owners in the short-term. Property tax exemptions will also reduce overheads and respond to a key concern held by the MICE community. Changes to the enterprise financing scheme including increased credit limits and deferred payment schedules will make credit more available and affordable for companies to maintain their capabilities throughout the crisis and into the recovery.
Sector-specific measures to protect the capability of businesses that rely on tourism, arts and culture are also welcomed. SACEOS will embrace capability-building initiatives to make the Singaporean economy more resilient, digital-ready and innovative throughout recovery.
Taken together, these measures will enable SACEOS members to retain staff and maintain business viability throughout the ongoing crisis.
SACEOS President Aloysius Arlando welcomed the Government’s support for recognising the interconnected value of the business tourism, meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions and events industry (BT MICE) to Singapore’s economic success and the nation’s ambition as the Global-Asia Node.
“Many of our members are behind the success of many international and first-in-the-world local events that have defined Singapore’s mark in the world. Despite the challenges caused by the crisis, many SME business owners have shown great strength and spirit during this period. Everyone is keeping an eye to ensure Singapore is at the top when we rebound,” Mr Arlando said.
“The measures announced today will help the MICE community to stay on the road to recovery, build resilience and emerge a much stronger industry”
“I encourage all SACEOS members to take full advantage of the Resilience Budget and to contact us for detailed advice on how these measures can help our community during these very trying times.”