Full month rental waiver for NEA hawkers due to business impact of Covid-19

Five sectors that have been directly impacted are tourism, aviation, food services, retail, and point-to-point transport services.

Mandy How| February 18, 03:13 PM

Hawkers who rent stalls from the National Environment Agency (NEA) will receive a full month of rental waiver, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget 2020 statement on Feb. 18.

This measure is part of the S$4 billion Stabilisation and Support package, put in place to address the foremost concern of helping workers retain their jobs in this period of economic uncertainty.

As the food services industry is one that has been directly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, it will receive additional support from the government.

NEA will provide the full month rental waiver to all stall-holders in NEA-managed hawker centres and markets.

Other government agencies, like the Housing and Development Board (HDB), will provide half a month of rental waiver to commercial tenants.

Four other affected sectors are tourism, aviation, retail, and point-to-point transport services.

Landlords of qualifying commercial properties will get a 15 per cent property tax rebate, which they are "strongly encouraged" to pass on to their tenants by reducing rentals.

Retaining and re-skilling workers

Employees in four of these five sectors will also receive enhanced support under the Adapt and Grow initiative this year, specifically through redeployment programmes.

For a start, the funding period for two re-skilling programmes -- the Job Redesign Place-and-Train programme for Hotel Industry and the Job Redesign Place-and-Train programme for Retail -- will be extended from three months to a maximum of six months.

Together with the Job Support Scheme under the Stabilisation and Support package, more than 330,000 local workers in these sectors will be retained and trained during the down time, said Heng.

This will prepare them for the future, after the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Top image via Tiberiu Ana on Flickr