Even as we approach the end of July 2021, the hanging bleak cloud that is COVID-19 doesn’t seem to dissipate. Just when we thought it had given way to brighter days, the pandemic cloud breaks into storms that are untoward and lasting, beating down once again on our hawkers and market stallholders. But, these just call for more rainy-day measures, and the latest of the lot is the government’s disbursement of a S$500 Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund, announced on 23 July 2021.
The uncertainty on our market and hawker stallholders from the recent dredged and burgeoning local COVID-19 cases and dine-in restrictions cannot be glossed over. With a significant reduction of footfall at hawker centres and the closing of some for deep cleaning, there have to be better measures for them to tide through the pandemic’s relentless waves. So, all stallholders operating at wet markets and hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators will be given a S$500 Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund. In addition to the existing measures, which include rental waivers and table-cleaning and dishwashing services subsidies, from May 2021.
Joining the realm of online ordering services, NEA has also been helping #HawkersGoDigital expand its customer base and prevent them from sinking into oblivion. This is effectuated through the SG Together Alliance for Action, the Online Ordering for Hawkers workgroup.
We’re too familiar with the pandemic’s damage, and the repairs aren’t achievable by just the government’s slew of measures. It’s an effort en masse, made up of small actions that’ll reap benefits in this fight.
It’s no easy feat to compromise on their stall earnings and livelihood to support enhanced safety measures. However, our market and hawker stallholders still do—which we should fully appreciate them for. One way is to continue to patronise markets and hawker stalls while abiding by tighter safety measures such as the SafeEntry check-in requirements.
Also, safe distancing is never out of the picture, so is keeping your mask on at all times. Please, keep our hawkers and fellow patrons safe. No amount of relief funds and measures are enough if we don’t adhere to basic safety precautionary measures.
Let’s #SupportOurHawkers, and continue to help them brace for storms.
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