About S$29 million will be pumped into a scheme to help 1,335 Housing and Development Board (HDB) shops boost their business and increase their competitiveness, Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said on Monday (Aug 29).
Since it was launched in November 2007, the Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme has been rolled out to 4,684 shops across 54 HDB town and neighbourhood centres.
In May this year, several enhancements to the scheme were announced, including an increase in the upgrading budget for each shop from S$20,000 to S$35,000, a reduction in shopowners' share of the upgrading cost from 50 per cent to 20 per cent and capped at S$5,000, and an increase in funding for merchants' associations.
A total of 25 sites will be the first to benefit from the enhanced scheme. Seven sites will get co-funding from HDB to upgrade common areas and hold promotional events, six sites will get funding to upgrade common areas, and four will get co-funding to hold promotional events. Another eight sites have applied for a new start-up fund of S$10,000 to form merchants' associations.
The S$29 million in funding for the scheme this year is higher than the one previously announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech in March this year. He had said that about $15 million would be set aside for the scheme annually to improve the competitiveness of heartland shops.
The increase in funding is because more shops are included under the revised scheme, HDB said.
Mr Lee said it is important to assist heartland shops as they provide convenience, affordability and choice to residents. Beyond that, such shops also create a sense of community and belonging, he added.
"We want to help our heartland shops do well, inject vitality in the neighbourhood because they also employ many Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans also run heartland businesses in our HDB shops," he said.
Source: Government of Singapore