The Ministry of Trade and Industry and Enterprise Singapore have issued a joint release to clarify that none of the illegal KTV lounges that form one of the largest active Covid-19 clusters received the pivot support package from the government.
According to the July 21 statement, MTI and ESG said they wished to clarify comments and misperceptions about recent breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMM) by illegal KTV clubs masquerading as F&B outlets, which resulted in the spread of Covid-19 cases.
400 made pivot
MTI and ESG said as at July 21, 2021, more than 400 former nightlife establishments have pivoted to other approved uses in light of Covid-19 restrictions.
Of these, only 18 have received ESG’s pivot support package to pivot to F&B operations.
Of these 18 establishments, 10 were bars and pubs, six were nightclubs and discos and two were karaoke establishments.
None of the establishments belonging to the KTV Covid-19 cluster received a pivot grant.
A pivot grant of up to S$50,000 from ESG is available to defray costs of a pivot to another business.
Compliance protocols in place
MTI and ESG also said the various agencies (e.g. ESG, URA, STB) check on all F&B establishments to ensure compliance with all SMM protocols.
Checks on pivoted ex-nightlife operators are jointly conducted with the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
Agencies will not hesitate to take firm enforcement action against errant operators.
If found in breach of SMM, grant terms or declarations as submitted in the grant applications, ESG reserves the right to recover the grants even after disbursement.
Due to the pandemic, all nightlife establishments were not permitted to operate from March 27, 2020.
Many businesses and the Singapore Nightlife Business Association appealed to the government to allow them to pivot to other permissible activities, including F&B outlets, office spaces and gym/ fitness centres.
Considering the challenges faced by the industry, the government allowed selected establishments to pivot to other permissible activities from October 2020.
Nightlife establishments that wished to pivot to other permissible activities had to first obtain the necessary approvals from the relevant regulatory agencies.
The firm had to submit a business plan, including details on the operational requirements.
Each application was carefully assessed on its own merit, taking into consideration factors such as the applicant’s operational plan.
Approved applicants were eligible for a pivot grant of up to S$50,000 from ESG, to defray qualifying costs incurred during the pivoting process, such as equipment and third-party consultancy costs.
Grants are given on a reimbursement basis and disbursed only upon satisfactory checks of the required documentation and onsite inspection.
Top photo via Google Maps