Heartland retailers to get more financial support for upgrading: MND

Heartland retailers will receive greater financial assistance for upgrading works under the enhanced Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme, announced the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Monday (April 11).

The upgraded ROS package, which will cost about S$15 million yearly, was first revealed by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget statement last month.

Since 2007, about half of all Housing and Development Board (HDB) shops islandwide have benefitted from the ROS scheme with upgraded shop fronts and funding support for promotional activities, said Senior Minister of State for MND Desmond Lee.

He revealed that last year, a Revitalisation of Heartland Shops Committee – comprising retailers, grassroots representatives and Merchant Associations (MAs) – was set up to review the ROS scheme, so as to better understand and support the needs of HDB retailers.

FINANCIAL AID

After evaluating suggestions and feedback from the heartland retail community, MND will adjust the co-funding ratio between Government, HDB shopkeeper and Town Council for upgrading works under the ROS scheme.

“What this means is that our shopkeepers pay less, while Government and Town Councils pay more,” said Mr Lee.

“Second, we will provide some start-up funding to support the formation of new Merchants’ Associations,” he added. “HDB will announce the details before launching the next batch of ROS soon.”

MND’s review is ongoing and there may be more in the pipeline, said Mr Lee.

Noting an increasing trend of ice cream parlours, artisan bakeries and hipster cafes being set up in residential estates, he also added that HDB will work with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and SPRING to support young entrepreneurs and SMEs with their heartland retail efforts.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Apr 2016

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