‘The pie is getting smaller’: Some heartland stalls fret over supermarkets coming onboard CDC voucher scheme

SINGAPORE: For Ms Nicole Sia, who owns a small clothes retailer in Ang Mo Kio, it was a aid to see extra gross sales trickle in after Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers have been launched final December.

Each Singaporean family obtained S$100 in vouchers, that are meant to assist with their each day bills whereas giving heartland hawkers and retailers a lift.

“With the vouchers, people spend more,” stated the proprietor of Peach Fashion, including that some even spent the complete S$100 at her retailer in the course of the Chinese New Year interval.

It added as much as a ten per cent improve in gross sales – which Ms Sia hopes will occur once more with a brand new spherical of vouchers launched on Wednesday.

But she is additionally involved that small companies like hers will get a smaller slice of the pie when consumers are allowed to make use of future tranches of CDC vouchers at main supermarkets in 2023 and 2024.

“The vouchers should be used to support small businesses instead of big chains because they don’t need the help,” stated Ms Sia.

“Now it’s hard times, the help should go more to us instead.”

Mr Jackson Tan, the proprietor of a close-by optical store Vision Image, felt the identical approach.

He stated enterprise has been powerful the previous two years, however gross sales have grown 10 per cent within the final 5 months, because of the CDC vouchers.

“I don’t think (the move) will be good for us … When people go to the supermarket, at one time they can use up everything because there are a lot of things to buy,” he added.

Mr Nelson Goh, who runs Ryffles Optical in Ang Mo Kio, stated: “(Major supermarkets) already have such good business. If you include them, you can see the pie is getting smaller and smaller.”

There are at the moment more than 16,000 hawkers and merchants that settle for CDC vouchers.

At Chinatown Complex, hawker Felicia Lee agreed that the transfer to incorporate supermarkets may draw prospects away from smaller companies – though she understood the rationale behind the change.

Ms Lee, who owns congee stall Da Jia Shi stated: “I myself get CDC vouchers and I was thinking how come NTUC, Sheng Siong, don’t have. I’m also a consumer. I myself would spend it at the supermarket … Everyone will go there.”

The transfer is available in response to suggestions from residents, stated Ms Low Yen Ling, chairperson of the Mayors’ Committee and Mayor of the South West District, on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, she advised the media that supporting small companies “remains a key focus” as authorities put together to launch the following set of vouchers, value S$200, subsequent yr.

One doable answer might be to restrict how a lot will be spent at supermarkets, stated Ms Low, who is additionally Minister of State for Trade and Industry.


But not all companies have been equally involved by the choice to incorporate main supermarkets.

Ms Toh Pei Ru, the supervisor of kitchenware store Poh Hua Industrial in Ang Mo Kio, stated: “If they need to buy things, they will still come and buy the pots, whether they got voucher or no voucher.”

Her retailer has seen gross sales develop by about 5 to 10 per cent with the vouchers, however she added that the change can be good as a result of “because some people really need to eat, more than to buy more things”.

Mr Anwardeen Sulaiman, who owns a noodle and vegetable stall in Geylang Serai, additionally stated: “I think it makes no difference … Even without the voucher, they will still come to market. They still have to spend money also.”


Ms Low famous that the CDC vouchers have given heartland companies a lift, citing how the Ang Mo Kio Constituency Merchants Association noticed a 15 per cent to twenty per cent rise in buyer footfall within the first two weeks of the vouchers’ launch final December.

Over within the west, Bukit Gombak Traders’ Association noticed a rise of 10 per cent to twenty per cent in income and prospects.

While some have certainly seen noticeable development in gross sales with the vouchers, others haven’t. They embrace Mr Anwardeen, who has not seen “a big difference” in his gross sales.

Neither has Ms Feng Ping, an worker of hair salon Art Coiffure. This might be as a result of individuals solely get haircuts when they should, as a substitute of doing so simply because they’ve vouchers, she stated.

Mr Goh of Ryffles Optical has not seen a significant change in gross sales too, maybe as a result of footfall is not excessive in his space, he stated.

He added: “(The Government) gives out a lot of money, but it’s scattered everywhere.”

At Sembawang Hills Hawker Centre, hawkers CNA spoke to additionally reported various experiences with the vouchers.

The proprietor of noodle stall Huey Peng Hiang, who solely needed to be often called Mr Li, stated there was no vital change in gross sales, including that there is likely to be an even bigger improve at hawker centres which can be extra widespread.

Mrs Karen Ong, who runs Khoon’s Katong Laksa & Seafood Soup, stated she receives a median of about S$20 to S$30 in vouchers per day.

“Business did pick up, but it could be because of the reopening of places also,” she stated.

‘The pie is getting smaller’: Some heartland stalls fret over supermarkets coming onboard CDC voucher scheme

Cheryl Lin

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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