Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre

111 Middle Road
Singapore 188969

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Everyday 9am to 9pm


COVID-19 Advisory for designers and design businesses

9 min read

Updated 28 August 2020

The Singapore Government has committed S$92.9 billion (Budget 2020 and Supplementary Budgets) to support individuals, businesses and industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DesignSingapore Council has compiled some COVID-19-specific relief measures relevant for designers and design businesses here, as well as existing schemes that may further support the design community.


Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme

  • Eligible Self-Employed Persons will receive three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 each in May, July and October 2020
  • Annual Value threshold raised from $13,000 to $21,000, to support more Self-Employed Persons
  • Automatic inclusion for those who also earn a small income from employment work
  • Other criteria remain unchanged
  • Check eligibility here:
  • Self-Employed Persons who narrowly miss the eligibility criteria can submit their appeals to NTUC from 27 April 2020

Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme

  • This scheme has been enhanced and extended with additional S$48 million
  • Receive a training allowance of S$10 per hour when you attend courses under the SkillsFuture Series, or select training programmes, with effect from 1 May 2020
  • You can tap SkillsFuture Credit to further offset course fees

Workfare Special Payment

  • If you are on Workfare Income Supplement Scheme 2019, you will receive a one-off Workfare Special Payment of $3,000 in cash. As of August 2020, the eligibility of this Special Payment will be widened to include those who were not on Workfare last year but have received or will be receiving Workfare for work done this year.

SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

  • SGUnited Jobs initiative scaled up to provide more than 40,000 jobs in 2020
  • Up to 21,000 traineeships with expanded SGUnited Traineeships Programme for recent and new graduates
  • Up to 4,000 traineeships with new SGUnited Mid-Career Traineeships for unemployed mid-career job seekers 
  •  Up to 30,000 job seekers eligible for new SGUnited Skills programme, a full-time training programme ranging from six to 12 months
  • Hiring incentive expanded to cover workers of all ages, with higher support for mature workers
  • Search for job opportunities at

NTUC Care Fund

  • One-time cash payout for eligible NTUC Union Members who have lost 30% income (including job cancellations) or have been retrenched
  • Ranges from S$50 to S$300, depending on criteria

COVID-19 Support Grant:

  • For Singapore Citizens and PRs (16 years and above) who are unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination as a result of COVID-19.
  • Cash grant of $800 a month for three months from 1 May 2020. This has been further extended to December 2020. The Ministry of Social and Family Development will share more details in early September.
  • Prior gross monthly household income of ≤$10,000, or monthly per capita income of ≤$3,100
  • Live in a property with annual value of ≤$21,000
  • Not on ComCare assistance
  • Must agree to actively participate in job search or attend a training programme under Workforce Singapore (WSG) or the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)


Jobs Support Scheme to alleviate wage burden

  • To help save jobs, the Government will pay 75% of the first $4,600 of monthly wages paid in April and May 2020, for every local worker in employment
  • For remaining qualifying months, wage support levels will be differentiated by sector
  • The JSS has been extended by one month to cover wages paid in Aug 2020, bringing the total wage support under the JSS to 10 months. Support for Aug 2020 will be paid out in Oct 2020. On 17 August 2020, DPM Heng announced a further extension by up to seven months, covering wages paid up to March 2021, and support will be adjusted based on the projected recovery of the different sectors.
  • Shareholder-directors with Assessable Income of $100k or less for the Year of Assessment 2019 are now eligible

Loans & Insurance:

The Government will increase risk share of loans from 80% to 90% for loans initiated from 8 Apr 2020 till 31 Mar 2021, under the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, Enterprise Financing Scheme – Working Capital Loan, and Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan

  • Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan: Maximum loan quantum increased from S$5m to S$10m, increasing the Government’s risk-share from up to 70%, to 80%
  • Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan: Maximum loan quantum further enhanced, from S$600,000 to S$1 million
  • Temporary Bridging Loan Programme: Maximum supported loan increased from S$1 million to S$5 million. SMEs that require more support can tap the EFS –SME Working Capital Loan
  • Loan Insurance Scheme: Subsidies for loan insurance premiums increased from 50% to 80% until 31 March 2020


  • The Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC)’s latest Members Assistance Scheme, supported by Enterprise Singapore’s STEER programme
  • Eligible members can receive between S$1,000 and S$9,000 in financial aid, based on the length of their SFIC membership

E-Commerce Booster Package

  • This package by Enterprise Singapore supports local retailers to work with e-commerce platforms to bring businesses online, so as to diversify sales channels and revenue streams
  • Eligible local retailers will receive one-time support to defray 90% of eligible costs (up to S$9000) for up to 6 months
  • Retailers can also apply for additional manpower support to drive e-commerce efforts and receive one-time support of up to 90% of the qualifying manpower costs for three months

Digital Resilience Bonus

  • F&B and retail businesses can receive a payout of up to $10,000 in payouts for adopting digital solutions

Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) Operating Grant

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will provide eligible arts and culture organisations, as well as those in closely-related sectors such as media and design, with a one-off ACRP Operating Grant of either S$50,000 or S$75,000, based on the size of their organisation.

The Operating Grant will complement existing support schemes and grants to help organisations defray their operating costs, in order to safeguard key capabilities as well as livelihoods. The National Arts Council (NAC) and the DesignSingapore Council will directly inform and engage organisations who are eligible for the Operating Grant.

For more details on the Operating Grant, please refer to NAC’s website or e-mail


Good Design Research
This initiative by the DesignSingapore Council will support designers and design enterprises to:

  • Design new systems and processes that are more sustainable and resilient against external shocks, in light of how COVID-19 has impacted businesses and their supply chains worldwide;
  • Research and experiment with new materials, technologies and processes to create new products, services and experiences that will help tackle global issues;
  • Be equipped with enhanced knowledge, skills, networks and resources to develop globally relevant and impactful solutions, while meeting the increasingly complex needs of clients.

To find out more, click here or contact

SkillsFuture Study Award for Design

  • This award will support design and non-design professionals who want to take this time to deepen their technical skills in design or pick up new skills in adjacent domains in business, technology and innovation.
  • Eligible recipients may receive S$5,000 monetary award
  • In view of COVID-19, online learning courses are now eligible for support, if training providers are able to meet the criteria

Shared Services for Designers

  • DesignSingapore Council has put together a panel of service providers who are offering designers preferential rates 20 – 50% lower than typical fees
  • Services include Accounting, Human Resources, Corporate Secretariat services and Public Relations

Design for Business: User Journey Mapping
This initiative by DesignSingapore and Enterprise Singapore is for SMEs to swiftly:

  • Improve their understanding of how users and employees interact with their products, services and processes; and
  • Identify growth and improvement opportunities through a user-centric approach

Certified Management Consultants could recommend this scheme to new and existing SME clients, as part of their business development efforts. Eligible companies can also tap into the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) to further defray costs. For further information, please click here or email

Start Digital Pack
This initiative by IMDA is for new SMEs and SMES new to using digital technology.

  • Take up any two solutions from a Start Digital Pack for free for six months, with a minimum 18-months contract

Enterprise Portal for Jobs & Skills
SkillsFuture Singapore has put together an enterprise portal for jobs and skills. It will help design businesses and designers to:

  • Develop human capital
  • Recruit talent
  • Redesign jobs to adapt to the current economic climate
  • Upgrade their skills
  • Learn at the workplace

Visit the Enterprise Portal for Jobs & Skills.

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Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre