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Media Releases
16 Jun 2020 Updated 19 Jun 2020

Helping businesses adjust and adapt to the new normal continues to be a priority

ESG and TAC touchpoints ready to support business needs as the economy gradually re-opens

MR No.: 046/20
Singapore, Tuesday, 16 June 2020

  1. From 3 April 2020 to 15 June 2020, 110,000 phone and 45,000 email enquiries from businesses impacted by safe-distancing measures were answered through Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG’s) Enterprise Infoline (6898 1800) and https://go.gov.sg/sdenquiries1. With advisories and guidelines that were applicable to different sectors as the COVID-19 situation evolved, the Infoline provided business owners with help to navigate the compliance requirements; procedures that can be complex particularly for small and micro SMEs. It also became an invaluable feedback channel for government agencies to understand and rectify challenges that were shared by businesses from different sectors, with the evolving COVID-19 situation. Updated information on the support measures, announced in the four budgets, to help distressed companies stay afloat and re-open safely were frequently addressed through phone and email enquiries as well.

  2. With the gradual re-opening of the economy, ESG’s Enterprise Infoline will continue to assist businesses in adapting and adjusting to the three-phased approach to resume activities safely post circuit breaker2. The Enterprise Infoline has employed call centre agents to augment the existing pool of call centre agents since April 2020.

  3. During circuit breaker when safe distancing measures were heightened, close to 800 volunteers from 48 government agencies manned the Enterprise Infoline. On days when significant announcements were made, such as the tightening of essential services and measures, the Infoline was open until midnight. During these periods, up to 60 volunteers answered phone enquires daily whereas 20 volunteers responded to email queries.

    Efforts of Trade Associations & Chambers (TACs) to support businesses impacted by safe distancing measures

  4. The Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF’s) COVIDBiz Helpline (+65 6701 1138) and email channel COVIDBiz@sbf.org.sg also serve as an additional channel for businesses to navigate COVID-19 related government advisories for businesses. SBF’s touchpoints have provided companies with updates on the various border restrictions, business support measures and movement of goods in key markets. From 6 April 2020 to 15 June 2020, SBF’s COVIDBiz Helpline received about 960 enquiries from over 600 companies.

  5. Beside phone and email touchpoints, various other Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and their SME Centres have stepped up to assist businesses since circuit breaker. The Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) has engaged over 1,110 companies through their industry group discussions, dedicated member outreach, and webinars from 17 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) has negotiated preferential interest rates with banks and private financial institutions for its members and all Singaporean Indian businesses to address cash flow concerns. Additionally, business advisors from the SME Centres continue to provide advisory services through email and hotline touchpoints as well.

  6. Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive, “Providing correct and timely information during circuit breaker and post circuit breaker is crucial in helping enterprises resume operations smoothly and safely.  The changes to business requirements which are necessary to progressively manage the impact of COVID-19, can overwhelm some companies especially the smaller ones. Enterprise Singapore and our TAC partners, are committed to invest more resources to bolster business confidence where needed and help businesses adjust to the new normal.”

  7. “At the start of the Circuit Breaker, I called the Enterprise Infoline to find out about the definition of essential business, whether my business required a declaration of exemption, and administrative steps needed to process the declaration. At a time when businesses are facing numerous uncertainties, it’s a pleasure to receive accurate information and reassurance, as communication is a critical part of our fight against this pandemic,” said Deepa Vijayan, Senior Partner, Quantico Communications LLP.

  8. ANNEX provides more details on the Enterprise Infoline’s operating hours and TAC touchpoints for business owners to be updated on the latest measures.

 

For more information on SME Centres, please click here.

 

For media enquiries, please contact

Ms LEE Ling Ling
Enterprise Singapore, Corporate Communications
Email   : lee_ling_ling@enterprisesg.gov.sg
Mobile : 9647 8917


 1https://go.gov.sg/sdenquiries is the predecessor to safedistancing@enterprisesg.gov.sg
22 June 2020 onwards