Heng Swee Keat

According to a report by ACRA today, nearly 19,000 Singapore businesses ceased operations in the first three months of 2020:

“In just the first three months of this year, 239 companies went into liquidation, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) data showed. This is compared with 287 for the whole of last year – already a record high since 2005. The number of companies and businesses that ceased operations in the first three months of this year jumped 78 per cent to 18,923, from 10,611 in the same period last year.”

Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) president Vincent Tan also told the state media:

“One-third of the 12,000 restaurants in Singapore could close in the next three months if the situation remains the same or worsens.”

In response to the severe economic crisis, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat also announced he is pumping in a further S$4 billion funding to support local businesses. The government will pay 75% of the salaries in April, up to a S$4,600 cap. This has however earned sharp rebuke from businesses saying it is insufficient because the virus outbreak is still raging.