Only 18 of the 400 old nightlife outlets received the F&B government assistance package; none are part of the KTV Covid-19 cluster, Community News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Only 18 former nightlife venues have received Enterprise Singapore (ESG) assistance packages to transition to catering operations, and none of them are part of the growing KTV Covid-19 cluster.
These include 10 former bars and pubs, six nightclubs and discos, and two karaoke establishments that have received grants to turn to restaurant operations.
More than 400 nightlife establishments have switched their activities to other approved uses.
ESG, which supports small and medium-sized enterprises, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), in a joint statement Wednesday, July 21, sought to clarify comments and misconceptions regarding recent violations of management measures safe by illegal KTV clubs. masquerading as food and drink outlets, leading to the spread of Covid-19 cases.
Many companies and the Singapore Nightlife Business Association have called on the government to allow them to switch to other licensed activities, such as food and drink, office and fitness centers, after the nightlife establishments were banned from operating from March 27 last year due to the pandemic, MTI and ESG said.
Given the challenges facing the industry, the government allowed selected establishments to switch to these other activities from October of last year, they said.
To do this, nightlife establishments had to obtain approvals from authorities and submit a business plan, including details of operational requirements.
Successful applicants were eligible for a pivotal grant of up to $ 50,000 from ESG, to help cover costs incurred in transitioning the business, such as equipment and consulting costs.
These grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis and paid after evaluation, the statement said.
“Each application has been carefully assessed on its own merits, taking into account factors such as the applicant’s operational plan,” he added.
These establishments are inspected by agencies such as ESG, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Singapore Tourism Board, in collaboration with the police, to ensure compliance with all measures in the event of a pandemic.
“Agencies will not hesitate to take firm enforcement action against roaming operators,” MTI and ESG said.
A multi-agency crackdown is underway to eliminate nightlife operators roaming KTV lounges, nightclubs and pubs.
More than 400 of these establishments have been ordered to suspend their operations for two weeks from last Friday as an additional precautionary measure, following the emergence of a Covid-19 cluster linked to KTV lounges.
Nightlife businesses that have pivoted to operate as food and drink outlets may be able to reopen after a two-week suspension from last Friday, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministerial working group to tackle Covid-19.
It is accepted that checks carried out by government agencies show that Covid-19 protocols are in place and strictly adhered to, he said on July 19 at a press conference held by the task force.