Thailand approves 37 billion baht in subsidies for SMEs

To help SMEs retain employees, the Thai Cabinet has approved a 37-billion-baht (US$1.1 billion) subsidy programme that will help pay for salaries.
By: | October 22, 2021

The programme will provide financial assistance to SME employers who are members of the Social Security Fund (SSF), said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Besides being members of the SSF, SMEs will qualify for the wage support if they employ no more than 200 Thai nationals. There are 394,621 such businesses in the country employing a total of four million Thai workers, said Thanakorn.

In addition, SMEs applying for the wage subsidy must have shed no more than 5% of their workforce during the pandemic crisis.

Under this programme, the government will provide a 3,000-baht (US$89.7) subsidy to assist with the monthly salary of each employee for three consecutive months starting from this month.

SMEs which recruit new employees for two straight months are also eligible for the same subsidy.

Labour minister Suchart Chomklin said the programme was designed to support the reopening of the country and the consequent restarting of the economy which would require substantial manpower.

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed concern that many SMEs are struggling from the impact of the pandemic. SMEs make up about 50% of the full-time employees insured by the social security system, and during the pandemic, most of the people who lost their jobs worked at SMEs, according to Bangkok Post.