The government rolled out a new Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund to provide a one-off cash assistance of $500 to stallholders at centres managed by NEA and NEA-appointed operators.
This comes on the back of stricter COVID-19 safe management measures – putting a stop to dine-in customers from 22 July to 18 August 2021. The new Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund was announced as part of the government’s $1.1 billion support package for businesses and individuals affected by the latest Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures.
This will differentiate the support measures that eligible stallholders receive, compared to other types of self-employed persons. For example, taxi and private hire car drivers can tap on the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF), while other types of self-employed should apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG).
Eligible stallholders do not need to apply or register for the assistance, and it will be directly credited into the bank account of the stallholders.
Support Schemes That Hawkers Can Also Apply For (Or Was Eligible For)
Apart from the Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund, eligible stallholders can also apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG), which provides a payout of $500 for three months. You can also apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T), which is providing up to two tranches of $500 payouts for self-employed persons.
Previously, eligible stallholders also received 2 months of rental waivers. Announced along with the Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund, will also receive another month of rental waiver.
Subsidies for Cleaning Services will also be provided. Previously in 2021, 2 months of subsicies for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services has already been extended. Now, a further 1-month subsidy will be provided for table-cleaning and centralised washing services fee.
In addition, the government is also encouraging more hawkers to go digital via the SG Together Alliance For Action – Online Ordering For Hawkers programme. As part of the initiative, the NEA will support hawkers in adopting online ordering services, develop sustainable business model by addressing platform charges, and increasing consumer demand.
These assistance packages are primarily delivered to eligible stallholders at centres operated by NEA or NEA-appointed vendors.
In conjunction with the support given to the F&B industry, the Food Delivery Booster Package has also been extended from 22 July to 18 August to help F&B businesses diversify revenue channels and defray costs of going online. This is not limited to any groups of F&B business owners.
Improving Safety Levels At Markets and Hawker Centres
There are currently 6 markets and food centres clusters that are linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster.
The need to contain the spread is doubly vital as many seniors frequent markets and hawker centres for their marketing, eating and social requirements.
As such, the government has stated that mandatory SafeEntry check-ins at markets and hawker centres are being rolled out. All dine-in establishments will also require full-timers and part-timers, as well as vendors to undergo a mandatory Fast and East Testing (FET) every 14 days.
Hawkers are also being encouraged to go cashless, while about 90% of those already working in hawker centres and markets have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
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