HELP’S AT HAND: TO COUNTER THE CRISIS

Singapore Budget 2020: Rental waivers for hawkers, market stallholders

To cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, stallholders at hawker centres and markets managed by the National Environment Agency, such as Redhill Lane Food Centre (above), will get a month's rental waiver. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
To cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, stallholders at hawker centres and markets managed by the National Environment Agency, such as Redhill Lane Food Centre (above), will get a month's rental waiver. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Mr Tan Shi Liang, 32, who runs a roast meat stall at Hawker Centre @ Our Tampines Hub, has seen sales drop by about 30 per cent in the last month. The coronavirus outbreak is keeping customers away, he said.

For him and others in his trade, rental waivers are on the way.

As part of the support package in this year's Budget to help businesses weather the impact of the coronavirus, rental waivers will be given to eligible stallholders at hawker centres and markets, as well as commercial tenants.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said stallholders at hawker centres and markets managed by the National Environment Agency will be given one month's worth of rental waivers, with a minimum waiver of $200.

Commercial tenants in other government-owned or managed facilities will be provided with half a month's worth of rental waivers. These include facilities owned or managed by agencies such as the Housing Board, People's Association, NParks, JTC Corporation, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore Tourism Board and Sentosa Development Corporation.

Eligible tenants are those on leases not exceeding three years and who do not pay property tax. These tenants may include those providing commercial accommodation, retail, food and beverage, recreation, entertainment, healthcare and other services.

In total, these rental waivers will cost the Government $45 million.

Mr Tan said: "It has been visibly quieter since January when the first cases of the coronavirus were announced. Many people are staying home...We don't know how long this situation will last, so hopefully if it is prolonged, then the Government will consider extending more support for us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2020, with the headline 'Rental waivers for hawkers, market stallholders'. Subscribe