Parliament: Scheme disbursing $500 to hawkers who engage food delivery platforms extended till end-June

There are hawkers who remain hesitant about subscribing to food delivery platforms. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A scheme disbursing $500 each to hawkers who sign up to food delivery platforms will be extended to end-June.

The fund was originally for hawkers who engage food delivery platforms or third-party logistics firms to deliver food between April 7 and May 31.

It is for cooked food stallholders operating at hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency or NEA-appointed operators.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor announced the extension in Parliament on Tuesday (May 5), adding that NEA has so far received 600 applications for the fund.

Dr Khor said: "We will encourage more hawkers to make use of this funding to set up an additional revenue stream especially during this challenging period."

She noted that since the start of the circuit breaker period, about 20 per cent to 30 per cent of cooked food stallholders have chosen not to operate their stalls. These include stalls located in the central business district where crowds have thinned and business has dropped significantly, as well as those manned by older stallholders.

Dr Khor acknowledged that there are hawkers who remain hesitant about subscribing to food delivery platforms.

She noted that the high commission cost charged by more popular platforms could be prohibitive and some hawkers are also resistant to adopting new technology solutions.

To support hawkers in adopting food delivery services, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) also launched a Food Delivery Booster Package in April which provided funding for 5 percentage points of the commissions charged by the major delivery platforms and 20 per cent off the delivery cost if eateries engage third-party logistics players.

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Dr Khor said that the Government is also engaging food delivery companies to see how their business models can be adapted for the hawker centre context to potentially lower cost for the hawkers. Current commission charges by food delivery platforms range from about 25 per cent to 32 per cent for each order.

To further encourage hawkers to take up delivery services, an information package listing the various food delivery platforms and third-party logistics partners available will also be provided to hawkers.

The package will also include information on ground-up initiatives, such as Facebook group Hawkers United and website, that have helped hawkers to advertise their food for delivery or pickup.

Dr Khor said: "Above all of course, I would like to encourage all Singaporeans to support our hawkers by patronising them."

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