Coronavirus: Singapore

7,000 market stallholders to get a month's worth of rental waivers

A stall at a market in Hougang Street 61, with a sign that displays safe distancing messages and promotions. Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, noted that during this ongoing phase of heightened alert, marke
A stall at a market in Hougang Street 61, with a sign that displays safe distancing messages and promotions. Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, noted that during this ongoing phase of heightened alert, market stallholders have seen lower footfall. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Market stallholders will be getting some help in coping with reduced business during this period of Covid-19 curbs.

A month's worth of rental waivers will be given to around 7,000 market stallholders in markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators.

This was announced by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, yesterday.

In a Facebook post, Dr Khor noted that during the ongoing phase of heightened alert to stem the spread of Covid-19, market stallholders were as affected by lower footfall as cooked-food stallholders.

Rental waivers for cooked-food stallholders in hawker centres, which have seen a significant decline in business, were announced last month as part of a $9 million relief package by NEA.

Those waivers, worth about $5.5 million, covered half the rent payable for around 6,000 cooked-food stallholders for May and June.

The June waiver also applied to new cooked-food stallholders with tenancies starting on June 1.

Five months' worth of rental waivers were given to around 14,000 market and cooked-food stallholders last year during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Last year's waivers formed part of the Supplementary Budget and the Fortitude Budget unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to reduce the operating costs for these stallholders amid flagging business due to pandemic restrictions.

Dr Khor, who is also Senior Minister of State for Transport, encouraged both market and cooked-food stallholders facing significant income loss of at least 50 per cent as a result of the tightened measures to apply for a one-off $500 payout under the Covid-19 Recovery Grant.

She added: "During these difficult times, let us all do our part to support one another, including our stallholders.

"Please support our hawker or market stalls with your next food purchase."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2021, with the headline '7,000 market stallholders to get a month's worth of rental waivers'. Subscribe