Riding the storm. A running theme for 2020 when COVID-19 hit our shores. As the pandemic swept across all industries, we began to see the economic impact affecting small businesses to large enterprises globally.
Closer to home, we see some businesses closing its doors for good. While others thrived as they readjust to the post COVID-19 economy.
Amidst the outbreak, the push for philanthropic efforts continues to play a vital role to support the community during this crisis. To cushion through the economic ripples on the outbreak, the Singapore Government has initiated a rental relief framework for the Government and landlord to provide mandated co-sharing of rental rebates. Warees backed this extension of support to its commercial tenants. The goal is to keep businesses running as they tide through the outbreak.
Today, our tenants are at different stages of recovery. We met three who shared their stories.
“As a retail business in the heart of Chinatown, we have seen a significant decline in walk-in customers since COVID-19. The bustling streets has gone quiet. We don’t know when we will see our tourist crowd again and the outlook doesn’t look too good either. Since we are a niche business, we have always had an online following on Facebook. At the height of the circuit breaker, we focus on our e-commerce efforts and engaging with our online community.”
– Gabriel Tan, The Tintin Shop
“When Phase 2 finally came, we saw a sort of camaraderie amongst diners. We took a huge sigh of relief when we see them flocking back to our tiny pocket-sized space. It was challenging to sustain our business during circuit breaker when we had to close our doors. The rental relief helped us a lot during the downtime. Bringing a smile to our customers with our bakes is what drives us to strive and continue.”
– Bridget Chen, Micro Bakery
“When we emptied our halls during circuit breaker, we directed our focus to ensure continuous learning for every child. Who knew we would be introducing home-based learning to preschoolers? The pandemic has showed us that children are able to adapt to change quickly. They are the embodiment of resilience. Now that our campus is open again, the walls continue to witness the joy of learning for these curious minds.”
– Amanda Yong, Learning Vision @ Novena
As advisories to stay home are slowly lifted, the community adapted to safe-reopening with caution. Brick-and-mortar businesses began to see more people patronising their stores. Children are back in schools and dining out is a common sight again.
The pandemic is proving to be more difficult and longer lasting that anyone expected. The rental relief has assisted some businesses stay afloat as they adapt to the new normal. The challenges ahead may be unknown, but the ability to pivot shows the tenacity of our tenants.