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Food outlets, retailers to get help with delivery costs, going online with reintroduced schemes

Food outlets, retailers to get help with delivery costs, going online with reintroduced schemes

Queues form at Ghim Moh hawker centre as Singapore's COVID-19 Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions kick in on May 16, 2021. (Photo: Corey Sta Maria)

SINGAPORE: Food outlets and retailers affected by COVID-19 Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions will get help to offset their delivery costs and to go online with reintroduced government schemes.

The food delivery and e-commerce subsidy schemes were first introduced in April 2020 during Singapore's "circuit breaker" period and removed as restrictions eased. 

They have been made available again to help businesses diversify their revenue channels and defray costs of going online, Enterprise Singapore said on Sunday (May 16), the first day the tightened rules kicked in.

The support is available to businesses that are new to digital channels as well as those already selling via food delivery or e-commerce platforms, it added.

READ: 38 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including 20 linked to previous infections

FOOD DELIVERY BOOSTER PACKAGE

From now until Jun 15, Enterprise Singapore will fund 5 percentage points of the commission cost charged by the three food delivery platforms - Deliveroo, foodpanda and GrabFood.

In the same period, the agency will fund 20 per cent of the delivery costs for food delivery orders made through third-party logistic partners, such as Lalamove, Zeek Logistics and Pickupp.

"Collectively, these players serve a large majority of the food delivery market," said Enterprise Singapore.

To be eligible for the Food Delivery Booster Package, F&B businesses must sell food that was prepared on-premises for immediate consumption. This includes smaller establishments like hawker stalls and cafes, and larger ones like food caterers and restaurants.

F&B businesses already on any of the three food delivery platforms will automatically benefit from the lower commission cost. For the rest, they can approach the platforms to find out more.

Prior to Enterprise Singapore's announcement, Grab said it will provide full commission rebates for stall owners operating in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency. For other food outlets, it will give a 50 per cent rebate on commissions for additional GrabFood orders as compared to their current level of sales or previous month's sales.

READ: F&B businesses to get increased support from Jobs Support Scheme following tightening of COVID-19 measures

READ: No dining-in at eateries - Restaurants pivot again, food delivery services gear up

E-COMMERCE BOOSTER PACKAGE

Retailers will receive a one-time 80 per cent support on qualifying costs for fees charged by e-commerce platforms, capped at S$8,000, until Nov 16.

Enterprise Singapore said it has collaborated with Shopee and Qoo10 and may add new platforms in future.

Shopee and Qoo10 will work with sellers to curate and list products for at least six months, participate in promotion campaigns, fulfil orders and perform basic data analytics of sales.

Each retailer can apply with only one e-commerce platform with whom it has no existing account.

IN FOCUS: Tackling COVID-19 with targeted measures - the new normal for Singapore?

READ: New COVID-19 measures in Singapore - What is allowed under the tighter restrictions?

OTHER SUPPORT MEASURES

Other support measures for businesses include those introduced earlier such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme to help companies access working capital. The programme has been extended to Sep 30.

Schemes such as the Productivity Solutions Grant and Enterprise Development Grant, both of which help to lower the costs of digitalisation and other transformation efforts, have also been extended to Mar 31 next year.

The Government has also increased support for F&B businesses under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) to 50 per cent from the 10 per cent support of wages paid up to June 2021.

Hawker stalls and coffee shop tenants of government agencies will also get a one-month rental relief.

READ: National Wages Council extends wage, employment guidelines to Nov 30 amid uneven outlook

Singapore tightened safe distancing restrictions from Sunday to Jun 13 to curb a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. 

Group gatherings are capped at two and dining-in at food outlets has been suspended, while working from home will again be the default at workplaces.

Enterprise Singapore assistant CEO Dilys Boey acknowledged that companies may have concerns about the additional resources required to deal with the tighter COVID-19 restrictions.

"We are providing support through the booster packages to help defray some of these operational costs. More importantly, we urge F&B and retail businesses who have yet to get onboard e-commerce to tap these packages to adapt their business models for online sales," said Ms Boey.

"For those already selling via food delivery or e-commerce platforms, we hope that this support can help them onboard additional platforms to widen their existing sales channels.”

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Source: CNA/jt(cy)

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