Newton Food Centre will be closed for “Repairs and Redecoration” works for 3 months from 1 Nov 2022 to 31 Jan 2023. The move is part of a pre-planned maintenance and modernisation initiative by the Hawker Centres Group (HCG) of the National Environment Agency (NEA).
The HCG manages 115 markets and hawker centres and regulates their tenancies and public health aspects. While 3 months may seem excessive, it is the standard period of closure for Repairs and Redecoration (R&R) Works by the NEA.
While the continual upgradation process is clearly a positive move in the long term, 3 months does seem excessively long. The move may be particularly difficult for hawkers right on the heels of the downturn in the F&B sector caused by the Covid pandemic.
It is unclear if or how hawker stall operators will sustain themselves for a quarter of the year without any business. Although not directly related to this closure, the government’s Small Business Recovery Grant (SBRG) may help some offset the lack of income.
This scheme, which is open to all businesses in sectors affected by COVID-19 Safe Management Measures gives S$1,000 for each local employee with mandatory CPF contributions in the period from 1 November 2021 to 31 December 20213, up to a cap of S$10,000 per firm. One round of SBRG payments to eligible businesses was made in in June 2022 and another will follow in November 2022.
If you are hungry and in the area, the nearest food centre is at Cambridge Road Blk 41A (Pek Kio Market and Food Centre).
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