Good days came for over 1,300 HDB shops all over Singapore, as the government decided to allot funds that are destined to help these shops grow and improve, become more competitive, and provide better services to their customers. What is the total budget for this project? In the information made public by Mr. Desmond Lee, the Senior Minister of State for National Development, the government planned $29 million to be used in this direction, starting the ROS or Revitalization of Shops scheme. While the ROS scheme is not something new in Singapore, the latest one includes several enhancements to maximize its efficiency and provided results. How many shops will benefit from this new and improved scheme? 17 sites have been already selected, while another 8 applied for the Start-Up Funds that should help them out with their formation and adherence to the Merchant’s Association.
Since the ROS scheme started back in 2007, no less than 54 HDB shops, both in the center and around the neighborhoods of Singapore, benefited from this financial plan. The truth is that improved shops, which look better and are well-prepared, will attract more customers, which leads to the stimulation of local economy. Who would like to spend money in a shop that does not inspire trust or is outdated? So the initiative was more than welcome for the retail background of Singapore. As mentioned earlier, the new ROS scheme has some enhancements, which were added in May last year, with the purpose to offer HDB shops even more support.
What will these enhancements cover? To start with, the budget dedicated to each shop included in the scheme will go up with 75%, increasing from $20,000 per shop to $35,000. This will certainly allow shops to exploit more and better upgrades, like landmark structures, façade improvements, fixed awnings, and others. Also, since the owners of the shops have to bear a part of these investments, the enhanced ROS scheme includes a reduction of the percentage covered by the owner, which drops from 50% to 20%, being capped at $5000. As mentioned earlier, there will be a Start-Up Fund, of $10,000, to stimulate HDB shops that don’t have a Merchant’s Association to create one. The formation of MAs is one of the aims of this enhancement, as the phenomenon will lead to the refreshing of shops in the heartland. Furthermore, to support the existing MAs with the organization of various events, like promotional events meant to bring in more shoppers, HDB will co-fund the expenditures connected with these events in a proportion of 50%, with an annual cap of $500 per shop in the case of sold shops and $1000 per shop in the case of rental shops. And, as a result of the renovation of their shops, tenants will also benefit from one month free of rent.
So, we should expect to see 25 more shops being improved and looking more presentable due to this enhanced ROS scheme, which is destined to make shopping in Singapore a more pleasant activity. Most certainly shoppers are looking forward to seeing the final results.
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