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  • Writer's pictureNabil Malik

Resilience strategies for F&B businesses affected by COVID-19

Updated: May 6, 2020

As part of the F&B community and industry here in Singapore, we too are grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 situation.

We've put together a list of strategies and initiatives for your consideration to help tide through these challenging times.

Going digital for business continuity

Setting up online shop fronts or partnering with food delivery platforms is essential now, especially during this "circuit breaker" period.

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has partnered up with leading online food delivery platforms Grab, foodpanda and Deliveroo to fund 5% points of the usual commission costs charged (approximately 30 - 40%) under the Food Delivery Booster Package.

Also in collaboration with these 3 platforms, ESG will help optimise businesses' online presence and improve sales by conjuring a capability development pack to cover three components:

With the cost of each pack valued at more than SGD$1500, F&B businesses will be able to benefit from this pack by paying a one-time fee of $100, with the remainder of costs being borne by ESG and the three platforms. Those interested can sign up with Deliveroo, foodpanda and GrabFood directly, between 13 April and 31 December 2020.

On top of that, ESG will also support those that opt for third-party delivery partners such as Lalamove and Zeek while funding 20% of the delivery costs with no cap on the qualifying cost.

ESG will also provide up to 90% funding through the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG). The EDG will assist companies in developing their virtual brand and their transition to being an online business.

However, to be eligible for the EDG, companies will have to be of the following criteria:-

1) Be registered and operating in Singapore

2) Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding

3) Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

While the funding started on the 9th of April, it runs all the way until the end of the year. Those that want to apply may do so via the Business Grants Portal.

However, if these rates are too high for your liking, you can source for freelance delivery riders who usually charge flat rates per order. Alternatively, you can also opt for MyDeliveryMan, an independent food delivery platform from My Food Society.

Additionally, you can set up your own ecommerce site by using online platforms. Here's a list of platforms that can get you up and running quickly:

Government Support Initiatives

The recently announced Budget has also introduced some relief measures for the F&B industry.

Rental waivers for hawkers will get 3 months of rental costs covered. Other commercial businesses will get up to 2 months of their rental waived.

Under the Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme, a wage offset of 50 - 75% can be subsidized, with the reimbursement capped to a salary of $4,600.

What About Staff Members?

Use this downtime to send them for upgrading courses. Amongst them would be the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). Salary support of up to 90% will be provided for the duration of the course.

What if I’m A Staff Member?

The Temporary Relief Fund will enable you to get a one-time payment of $500 if you qualify for it. Applications for this initiative are available online.

People-Led Initiatives

It's even more crucial that the community comes together to support one another now.

ChopeAndSave aims to mobilize your regular customers to support their beloved eateries by getting gift cards or vouchers to be redeemed later. This is a great way to help supplement your cash flow for the short-term.

The Singapore Restaurant Rescue Facebook group is a great platform for you to get more exposure for your business. From promoting your takeaway menu to sourcing freelance flat-rate delivery riders, this group was specially formed to rally community support for independent eateries.

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