Hawkers relieved with S$9mill of rental waivers from NEA

The current wave of tightened measures—or better known as ‘Heightened Alert’—is hitting the F&B industry hard and fast, with so many fraught with worry that they might not be able to ride out this second round of dining restrictions. It comes, then, at an opportune time for Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Amy Khor, to announce that NEA will be doling out rental waivers and subsidies to lighten some of the financial woes of hawkers.

Stall front of 302 Foodhouse

The compensation will amount to S$9 million in relief, which will be used to offset half the rental cost of stallholders in May and June 2021, affecting 6,000 food stallholders. Rental waivers will total to approximately S$5.5 million, with new cooked food stallholders with tenancies starting on 1 June 2021 also enjoying the half-month rental waiver.

In addition to this announcement, which was made on Saturday, 22 May 2021, the remaining subsidies will cover 100% of fees allocated for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services during this no-dine-in period. This will amount to roughly S$3.3 million. While the government body does its part to help hawkers tide these challenging times, it’s also our responsibility to keep supporting our favourite hawkers by ordering delivery or take-away from them.

KF Seetoh with hawkers

As KF Seetoh recently spoke out in a recent Facebook post, “A lot of hawkers, and I mean plenty plenty, are not online nor on anything except a prayer and hope. They still sit there with all their food nicely laid out and prettily lit, waiting for the inevitable to happen. Permanent closure. The rental rebates aren’t helping as real cost, even to stay afloat, is way more.” He also sought support from those preferring to cook at home to buy ingredients from wet markets instead, as they are less likely to have crowds.

Our hard-working food delivery fleet was also not left out, as he left a heartwarming reminder for us all: “If yo’ are too proud to thank them, at least leave a note at the door ‘Thank you my hard working delivery people. I am safe at home today because you took that trip for me. I appreciate you.’ or something like that”.

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