The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is setting aside some S$1.5 million to assist 3,000 shops island-wide enhance their business vibrancy and competitiveness. This is the fifth batch of shops to benefit from the HDB’s Revitalisation of Shops Scheme, which was rolled out in response to the numerous requests from the Merchants’ Associations following the success of the earlier four RoS batches.

The RoS scheme is part of the government’s on-going measures to help HDB retailers.

The scheme was first implemented in 2007 and has since benefitted some 4,500 shops, covering about 50 per cent of Singapore’s town and neighbourhood centres.

Retailers can obtain co-funding for upgrading of common areas, promotional events and rent-free periods for tenants to renovate their shops under this scheme. HDB will co-fund up to 50 per cent of the expenditure for promotional events organised by merchant associations to attract consumers.

The Minister for National Development, Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post that the HDB has so far spent about S$7 million in co-funding under the Revitalisation of Shops Scheme, citing Boon Lay Shopping Centre, which was recently revamped and saw many improvements under the scheme. Some of these improvements include upgrading of the toilets, new floor tiles and a spruced-up community corner for residents.

Khaw attributed the success of the revamp to the tireless efforts of the stakeholders — the Boon Lay Merchants’ Association, the shop owners, HDB and the West Coast Town Council.

Khaw urged local merchant associations to take the lead and work closely with shop owners, adding that with good planning and solid execution, the scheme is a big positive measure for shop owners and their customers.