Businesses should use the current “downtime” to focus on transforming themselves, said Singapore Business Federation (SBF) chief executive Ho Meng Kit yesterday.
He urged firms to “play their part”, adding: “A well-run business should never be fully dependent on government aid, but should be agile and constantly seek ways to cut costs, if needed, to survive changing tides.”
Mr Ho’s comments came a day after the Government rolled out a $4 billion package to help workers and firms tackle short-term economic uncertainties.
The package includes measures to help companies with wage costs and cash flow, with additional aid for the sectors worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Ho added that this year’s Budget strikes a balance between helping companies with their immediate needs, and positioning them for a quicker recovery ahead.
Although he considered the $4 billion package to be comprehensive, he also said that rental waivers could have been more generous.
The Government has granted a 15 per cent property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties, and has encouraged landlords to pass this on to tenants by reducing rentals.
“Companies in the retail and food and beverage sectors are asking for one to three months of rental waivers. Many are tenants of commercial developments,” Mr Ho said.
He echoed the Government’s call to pass on rebates to tenants, adding: “After all, a mall with empty shops and restaurants will not be sustainable in the long run for mall owners.”