SINGAPORE - Owners of mom-and-pop shops and coffee shop stalls in Yuhua single-member constituency now have their own online platform where residents can connect with local shops and buy what they need.
The Yuhua Family platform lists locations of more than 900 hawkers and merchants in the constituency as well as their contact details.
It also allows residents to use Yuhua vouchers digitally through their accounts on the platform.
The vouchers - worth $100 each - were presented to about 300 low-income households at the Yuhua Community Club on Sunday (Oct 31).
The beneficiaries, mostly families receiving financial assistance from the constituency's grassroots organisations, each received a paper voucher.
Besides tapping the online platform, they can also redeem their vouchers at participating merchants, who will scan the QR code on each voucher.
There are currently over 100 shops that accept the vouchers.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu presented the vouchers to some of the beneficiaries.
The minister, who is MP for the ward, told the media that the Yuhua voucher scheme will also help generate business for the neighbourhood shops.
The business owners will be reimbursed within two weeks.
The Yuhua vouchers can be used in any denomination, with the remaining amount registered on the platform.
The Community Development Council (CDC) will also be issuing digital vouchers in the next tranche of its scheme, which Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said during the Budget is to thank Singaporeans for the solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support heartland businesses.
About 1.3 million Singaporean households will each receive $100 in CDC e-vouchers in a few months.
Participating merchants will use an app - called RedeemSG Merchant - to scan the QR code on each CDC voucher.
On Sunday, resident Rozalita Ab Rashid told The Straits Times that she would teach her parents, both 67, how to use the Yuhua vouchers.
"My father will learn (to use the digital voucher) slowly," said the nurse, who lives with her parents as well as her two sisters and their families in a four-room flat.
The 39-year-old said her family has been receiving assistance from the ward's grassroots organisations and their community partners after their flat was gutted by a fire in August.
They moved back into the refurbished unit on Saturday.
Another resident, Madam Michelle Seau, 56, said she prefers using the digital version of the voucher.
The housewife, who lives in a three-room flat with her 20-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, intends to buy groceries and food with it.
Mr Sultan Syed Ahmad Abdul Razak, 73, told ST that he is not digitally savvy and prefers to use the paper voucher.
The former security guard lives in a three-room flat in Yuhua with his 72-year-old wife and 37-year-old son.
He said he will not spend the voucher on goods and services like a cup of coffee or a haircut.
"I will do so only for big items, like rice and cooking oil," he added.