Singapore

Rental waivers for hawker, market stallholders over virus outbreak

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 epidemic, 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 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.

AGENCIES

These include facilities owned or managed by agencies such as the Housing Board, People's Association, National Parks Board, 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."

BUSINESS & FINANCE