SINGAPORE: About 14,000 hawkers will get the equivalent of a month’s rental waived, as the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) assist hawkers with operating costs during the current COVID-19 situation.
The waiver will apply to all stallholders in the 114 hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. This includes stallholders both in the cooked food and market section of the hawker centres.
“I assure our hawkers that we will always look out for them,” said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor on Wednesday (Mar 4).
“As part of the Stabilisation and Support Package announced during Budget 2020, we will provide a one-month rental waiver, with a minimum sum of S$200, to all stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators … About one third of the stallholders, whose monthly rentals are below S$200, will in fact enjoy more than one month of rental waiver.”
Stallholders will receive a 50 per cent rental waiver this month, 25 per cent in April and the remaining 25 per cent in May, said Dr Khor.
“Hawker stalls are small local businesses. The Government has consistently supported the wellbeing of our hawkers, and will continue to do so to help our stallholders tide over the current COVID-19 situation,” said NEA in a press release.
ENHANCEMENT OF HAWKER PRODUCTIVITY GRANT
The NEA will also expand the Hawkers’ Productivity Grant (HPG), an initiative that co-funds the purchase of suitable kitchen automation equipment for three years from October 2017. Each stallholder can claim 80 per cent of the qualifying cost of their equipment on a reimbursement basis, up to a total of S$5,000 within the three year period.
In addition to cooked food stallholders, eligible market stallholders will from Mar 9 be able to apply for the grant. The list of suitable equipment will also be expanded from 19 types to 24 types.
As of end February this year, 526 cooked food stallholders have benefited from the grant, with S$1.48 million handed out, said NEA. The HPG, which would have ended in October 2020, will also be extended to March 2023, said Dr Khor.