More help for aspiring hawkers: One-stop information centre launched

SINGAPORE - More help for aspiring and current hawkers was unveiled on Monday (Oct 9): a one-stop information centre and the launch of a productivity grant first announced in March.

Information on the hawker trade, such as how to tender for a stall, and where to take courses on food hygiene, will be available at the revamped Customer Service Centre located at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

From Monday, hawkers will also be able to tap a grant where the purchase of kitchen automation equipment will be co-funded by the National Environment Agency.

Each stallholder will be able to claim 80 per cent of the unit cost of the equipment on a reimbursement basis, up to a total of $5,000 within a three-year period.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor opened the One-Stop Information and Service Centre (OSISC) and launched the grant on Monday, as part of the Government's efforts to sustain the hawker trade and support new entrants.

Dr Khor said: "Apart from training, some hawkers are unaware of resources such as various types of equipment that can help in food preparation and suppliers' contacts for raw ingredients, which would be particularly helpful.

"To this end, the OSISC will function as a single-stop and comprehensive resource centre for all hawkers."

At the launch, general manager of food service equipment supplier TePrimo, Mr William Goh, together with a chef from Ah Seng Stainless Steel, gave a demonstration of a vegetable cutter that can cut up to 300kg of vegetables in an hour.

The cutter is on the list of equipment approved for purchase under the grant. 

TePrimo and Ah Seng Stainless Steel are partners in importing the cutter from Spain. Mr Eric Lau, general manager of Ah Seng Stainless Steel, said that such products have been available on the market for about 10 years now, but only about 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the company’s customers are hawkers.