Do heartland shops really need livening up?

Tuesday's report begs the question of why it is necessary to liven up heartland shops ("$29m to liven up heartland shops in 17 areas").

Businesses rise and fall with the roller-coaster economy. Some survive, some do not, and some merge and consolidate over time.

Businesses have to be left alone for entrepreneurship to be successful. This is especially so for old family businesses.

Spending $29 million on upgrading works and promotional events is an appalling business manoeuvre. Such a move, implemented with no understanding or interest in how these businesses run, may spell the end of old businesses.

Why not offer and implement strategies for businesses instead?

Shops in the 17 areas can benefit from economies of scale, and the high costs of sourcing and logistics can be brought down with bulk purchases. The challenge now is for the $29 million to be more than just for a cosmetic makeover.

Santi Yeo Her Chuen (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline 'Do heartland shops really need livening up?'. Print Edition | Subscribe