7,000 market stallholders to get rental waivers to cope with decline in business during Covid-19 curbs

Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor noted that market stallholders were as affected by lower footfall as cooked-food stallholders.
Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor noted that market stallholders were as affected by lower footfall as cooked-food stallholders.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - 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, on Thursday (June 10).

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 significant decline in business, had previously been announced in May, 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.

The latest announcement extends the current waiver scheme to market stallholders.

Five months’ worth of rental waivers were previously 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 payout of $500 under the Covid-19 Recovery Grant.

Added Dr Khor: "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."