SINGAPORE - As part of the support package in this year's Budget to help businesses weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, rental waivers will be given to eligible stallholders of hawker centres and markets, as well as commercial tenants.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that stallholders at hawker centres and markets managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) 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, National Parks Board, JTC, 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 $45 million.
Mr Tan Shi Liang, 32, the owner of a roasted meat hawker stall at NEA-managed Hawker Centre @ Our Tampines Hub, said sales have dropped by about 30 per cent in the last month.
He said: "It has been visibly quieter since January, when the first cases of the coronavirus were announced. Many people are staying home and not coming out."
Mr Tan said the rental waivers will be beneficial to hawkers and lessen the impact from the drop in customer traffic.
He added: "We don't know how long this situation will last, so hopefully if it is prolonged, then the Government will also consider extending support for us."