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Home-based food businesses qualify for relief fund; curbs may be eased ‘in time for Hari Raya orders’, says Masagos

SINGAPORE — Owners of home-based food businesses who register with the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SMCCI) will now automatically qualify for the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday (April 29).

Home-based food businesses qualify for relief fund; curbs may be eased ‘in time for Hari Raya orders’, says Masagos

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, who is also the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, gave owners of home-based food businesses the assurance that they have legal protection under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

SINGAPORE — Owners of home-based food businesses who register with the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SMCCI) will now automatically qualify for the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday (April 29).

In a Facebook post, he reiterated the Government’s stance that should the community transmission of Covid-19 improve, the restrictions on such businesses may be eased — which could be “in time for the Hari Raya orders”.

Mr Masagos said that he understood the frustrations of Malay/Muslim business owners who would have received many orders during the Ramadan period and “their seasonal incomes would have been hit”.

He said that Associate Professor Faishal Ibrahim had reached out to business owners to see how they can best benefit from the various assistance schemes offered by the authorities. Thursday is the last day to apply for the TRF.

Mr Masagos, who is also the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, gave owners of home-based food businesses the assurance that they have legal protection under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act.

Businesses struggling to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis will be able to get relief from their contractual obligations for as long as six months, under the law which was passed in Parliament earlier this month.

Mr Masagos said that the authorities are providing free legal support to business owners who are unable to fulfil their obligations, through lawyers who have volunteered to give free legal advice.

In addition, the SMCCI is collecting relevant data from home-based food businesses to better understand the impact of the measures on their income and to “ascertain how to better support them during this challenging period and in the long term”, Mr Masagos said.

“This could be in the form of supporting them in logistics and delivery, and training them for business management,” he added.

Mr Masagos said that many home-based business operators understood the rationale and the need for the tightened circuit breakers measures, adding that the authorities hope that the situation here improves soon.

“As my colleague, (National Development) Minister Lawrence Wong has shared, the restrictions on (home-based businesses) may be eased if the community transmission numbers are brought down. If we all cooperate and stay calm, it will be in time for the Hari Raya orders,” said Mr Masagos.

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Home-based business circuit breaker Covid-19 coronavirus Masagos Zulkifli

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