Because of the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases worldwide, countries have adopted lockdown policies that limit outward travel, promote social isolation, and facilitate residence-at-home and self-quarantine steps.
This had significant business impacts and resulted in many businesses needing to turn to electronic platforms and technologies such as research, video conferencing, internet distribution, remote operations and more. So, here are some important steps to deal with changes to the lockdown:
Retail companies will use this opportunity to strengthen their online presence and use mobile apps to reach out to current and new customers. Delivery and online shopping are on the rise and businesses that make full use of online marketing resources and the successful creation of mobile apps will come out on top. Meanwhile, corporations should implement effective IT policies to support homeworkers and enable effective online meetings through software for video conferencing. Employees will have access to laptops with appropriate camera and microphones for work. Laptops should also be optimized to securely connect to private servers via VPN and utilize applications such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and etc.
Ensure efficient financial management
Effective financial management is required to ensure the continuity of the company operating funds and the ability to sustain the losses suffered during the pandemic. Where applicable, businesses will prepare and distribute their financial reserves to ensure that debt rates are as small as possible. This could include restructuring the company and deleveraging assets if needed.
Using Government Support Programs
Businesses should also make use of government support programs that can help ease the operational financial pressures during a difficult time. The Government of Singapore has implemented various policies which can help:
- Employment Support Scheme (JSS): A certain amount of gross monthly salaries paid to each local employee for 9 months would be co-funded by Government.
- Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) Waiver and Remuneration: Employers may apply for a refund of up to $750 per S Pass or Work Permit holder working in 2020.
- Enhanced Property Tax Rebate: Non-residential property owners can claim a property tax rebate from 40 percent to 100 percent depending on the property type.
- COVID-19 Support Package for FinTechs: FinTechs can receive training allowance grants, rental fee discounts, salary subsidies for new and existing multi-grade hires, etc. More information on government funding can be found on the Government of Singapore websites.