SINGAPORE: A scheme to help F&B businesses defray the costs of providing food delivery services and going online has been extended by a month until Jul 15, Enterprise Singapore said on Sunday (Jun 13).
Since it was re-introduced on May 16, the Food Delivery Booster Package has benefitted more than 10,000 F&B establishments, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling.
The scheme was introduced in April 2020 during Singapore's "circuit breaker" period and removed as restrictions eased.
It has been made available again to boost support for F&B businesses during a tough period for the industry, Ms Low said.
There are now 13 partners supporting this scheme after seven companies were brought on board -food delivery platform Bungkus and third-party logistics players Chope, GrabExpress, pandago, DLVRD, Milkrun and YY Circle.
"In particular, the extension and expansion of the government’s Food Delivery Booster Package ... seeks to alleviate the painful effects of disruption and offer a longer runway of support even after dine-in services resume on Jun 21," Ms Low added.
From now until Jul 15, Enterprise Singapore will fund 5 percentage points of the commission cost charged by the four food delivery platforms - Bungkus, Deliveroo, foodpanda and GrabFood.
READ: Food outlets, retailers to get help with delivery costs, going online with reintroduced schemes
The agency will also fund 20 per cent of the delivery costs for food delivery orders made through the nine third-party logistic partners currently supporting the initiative.
"The dine-in restrictions in the past few weeks have been challenging for our F&B sector," Ms Low said, adding that food delivery is becoming part and parcel of the new normal.
Citing Department of Statistics data, Enterprise Singapore said the COVID-19 pandemic and changing consumer preferences have boosted the demand for food delivery services.
For the F&B sector, the percentage of sales from online food delivery increased from an average of 12.5 per cent from January to March last year to 22.5 per cent in the same period this year.
F&B businesses have also been relying on the scheme to diversify their operations by providing food delivery services.
"Based on preliminary estimates from the first two weeks of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from May 16 to May 29, the daily average number of online food deliveries supported under the booster package was close to 20 per cent higher than the daily average during the circuit breaker last year," Enterprise Singapore said.
Ms Low said the scheme "will place our F&B establishments in a firm footing for a resilient recovery as they gain new skills and platforms critical for long-term growth".