NEA to give $9 million in rental waivers, subsidies to help S’pore hawkers with tightened Covid-19 measures

The National Environment Agency will waive half of hawker stall rentals in May and June. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Hawkers bearing the brunt of restrictions imposed amid a spike in Covid-19 infections will receive some relief with rental waivers and subsidies amounting to $9 million in total.

Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor on Saturday (May 22) said that the National Environment Agency (NEA) will waive half of hawker stall rentals in May and June, aiding around 6,000 cooked food stallholders in the hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.

This will amount to some $5.5 million in rental waivers.

New cooked food stallholders with tenancies starting on June 1 will also receive the half-month rental waiver.

"Their businesses have been affected by the recent tightened measures, with no dining in at food and beverage establishments and reduce footfall as more people are working from home and schools transiting to full home based learning," said Dr Khor, who is also Senior Minister of State for Transport.

In addition to rental waivers, she said NEA will subsidise 100 per cent of fees for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services for cooked food stallholders during the no-dine-in period. This amounts to some $3.3 million.

"I want to thank our hawkers heroes for working hard to keep their stalls clean and open so as to be able to continue to provide us with safe, delicious and affordable hawker fare," Dr Khor said, urging the public to bring their own reusable containers when buying takeaways.

Mr Anthony Low, chairman of the Boon Lay Hawkers' Association, told The Straits Times that the rental waivers will help stallholders tide over this tough period.

"I am very glad that NEA understands the impact prohibited dining-in has on us and (the hawkers) appreciate its swift and timely move to alleviate some of our worries. As stall owners, we will also need to be resilient and adaptable to prepare for future unforeseen circumstances," said Mr Low, who is also the chairman of the Federation of Merchants' Associations Hawker Division.

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