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Business

Measures

HDB adopts a 3-pronged approach to help our retailers: 

  • Upgrade the common area to improve shopping ambience
  • Organise promotional activities to attract shoppers
  • Encourage retailers to upgrade their shops and business operations

Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme

The ROS scheme is part of ongoing measures to help HDB retailers. It has benefited 4,684 shops at 54 sites so far, covering over 50% of our town and neighbourhood centres.

We introduced the ROS scheme in November 2007 to help enhance the vibrancy and competitiveness of HDB shops. Where HDB retailers or the local Merchants' Associations (MAs) are keen to spearhead revitalisation efforts, the ROS scheme can help retailers upgrade the shopping environment and carry out promotions. 

SMS Desmond Lee announced enhancements to the Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) Scheme during MND’s Committee of Supply 2016.

Enhancements to the ROS Scheme

The ROS Scheme comprises the following components:
  • Co-funding for upgrading of common area (enhanced)
  • Co-funding for promotional activities
  • Rent-free periods for tenants to renovate their shops

Co-funding for upgrading of common area (Enhanced)

Over the years, many MAs have worked with Town Councils and GROs to upgrade the common property in the Town Centres and Neighbourhood Centres so as to improve the shopping ambience.

Previously, shop owners would pay 50% of the costs for items that directly benefit the shops, such as awnings, vertical blinds, while HDB and Town Council co-fund the other 50%. For rental shops, HDB and Town Council would bear 100% of the upgrading costs.

From Batch 7 ROS onwards, shop owners will only need to bear 20% of the upgrading cost, capped at $5,000. HDB and Town Councils will bear the remaining upgrading cost, up to $30,000 per shop.

For rental shops, HDB and Town Councils will continue to bear 100% of the upgrading cost, up to $35,000 per shop.

Besides increasing the ROS funding, to help the MAs garner support for ROS upgrading works, HDB will provide funding of up to $10,000 for them to appoint consultants to provide preliminary concepts/artists’ impressions of ROS upgrading.

Co-funding for promotional events

MAs have also been actively organising promotional events to attract crowds to their town and neighbourhood centres. To assist the MAs, we will co-fund up to 50% of the expenditure for such promotional events.

The total funding will be based on the number of MA members, with an annual cap of $500 per sold shop and $1,000 per rental shop. MAs need to plan at least 2 events per year in order to qualify for the funding. The funding can be used to pay for the events’ publicity and logistical costs.

The co-funding for promotional events will be limited to no more than 6 consecutive years, subject to application each year. For the 1st 3 years of co-funding, the funding will be capped at 50% of the expenditure or 50% of the total funding for the year for each event, whichever is lower.

For the 4th to 6th years of the co-funding, the amount will be gradually reduced (4th year – 40%, 5th year – 30%, 6th year – 20%), subject to yearly application.

Rent-free renovation period for tenants

You are encouraged to upgrade your shop and business operations to complement the efforts made to upgrade the shopping facade and to carry out promotional activities. If you renovate your shop in conjunction with the overall upgrading/ promotional efforts of the ROS scheme, you can enjoy a rent-free period of up to 1 month.

To enjoy this rent-free period, you need to be an MA member and have rented the shop from us for at least 6 years.

NEW - Start-up Fund For Formation of Merchants’ Association (MA)

For town and neighbourhood centres without an existing MA, a Start-up Fund of $10,000 will be made available to encourage the retailers to organise themselves to form an MA.

 

Pro-business measures for commercial tenants

If you are our commercial tenant, we have the following assistance measures for you.

Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme

We introduced the ROS scheme in November 2007 to help shops enhance their vibrancy and competitiveness. The scheme is made up of 3 components:

  • Co-funding for upgrading of common area (enhanced)
  • Co-funding for promotional activities
  • Rent-free periods for tenants to renovate their shops

MAs can choose to take up all or a combination of the measures. 

Rent-free period for renovation works

We aim to facilitate the upgrading of the overall shopping environment in our estates, and in the process, help our shops improve their business viability. Hence, you can enjoy a rent-free period of half a month when you fulfil either of these conditions:

  • Renovate your shop within the 6-month period after renewing your tenancy
  • Renovate your shop in conjunction with the makeover of complexes/ rejuvenation programmes, such as Remaking our Heartland, Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, and Town Council improvement works

To qualify, you must have rented the shop from us for at least 3 years and fall under the following use classes as defined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority - shop, restaurant, amusement centre, and pet shop. Each tenancy can enjoy the rent-free period a maximum of once every 3 years. When you submit the renovation plans and costs to us, the renovation plans should be holistic and give your shop a refreshing new look with:

  • A more attractive shop front design
  • Better internal layout
  • An improved ambience within the shop

Upon approval, you can proceed with the renovation works and will receive the rent-free period after the works are completed and verified.

The rent-free benefit does not cover renovation for subletting. If you assign your shop within 6 months from the completion of the renovation works, you need to return the half-month rent to us.

Higher rental rebates during upgrading

You will receive a 75%, 50%, or 25% rental rebate if upgrading works are carried out in your shop, block, or precinct respectively. 

In situations where upgrading works have caused business operations to stop completely, you will be given a 100% rental rebate.

Lower electrical upgrading cost

We have reduced the cost to upgrade the electrical loading for our commercial premises. For electrical upgrading to 1 phase 60amps, the charge is $45 per amp, instead of the previous $85. To let businesses of different scales enjoy this benefit, we have also removed the minimum charge requirement.

Staggered rent for newly constructed shops

As HDB builds more shops in new estates to serve our residents, we would also like to help our retailers ease into their businesses in the newly constructed shops. For shop tenants of all newly constructed shops with tender/ e-bidding closing from 1 Aug 2017 onwards, they can enjoy staggered rents, at 80% of tendered rent in the first year and 90% in the second year, before the full tendered rent kicks in during the third year. 

Staggered rent for tenancy renewals

To assist our tenants who renew their tenancy for more than a year, and whose rents are increased by more than 10% at renewal, we will adjust the rents gradually over the renewal period.

% of Rent Increase

1st Year*

2nd Year

3rd Year^

≤ 10%

Market rent (no staggering)

Market rent

Market rent

> 10% to 20%

Up 10% from existing rent

Market rent

Market rent

> 20%

Up 10% from existing rent

Up 20% from existing rent

Market rent

 

* 1st year if renewal is for a 2-year term
^ 2nd year if renewal is for a 2-year term

You can renew your tenancy for a 1, 2, or 3-year term. You can also choose shorter-term tenancies if you expect market rents to fall over time.

Subletting of shop space

If you would like to scale down your business operations, you can sublet 50% of the shop space to only 1 sub-tenant.

Instalment plan for tenants in arrears

If you are in genuine financial hardship, you can pay your arrears by instalments.

Change of trade

Since 1 August 2002, you only need to notify us through a standard notification form and submit the administrative fee of $100 (excluding GST) if you would like to engage in an approved trade. Please note that fees for applications are different for rental shops and HDB shopping complexes. Depending on whether valuation is required, the MA will advise and collect the amount accordingly. An acknowledgement letter will be issued on the same day and you can start your new trade immediately.

Since 11 March 2011, you can change trades to non-retail uses, such as offices, office-related trades, showroom, sale of take-away food, and single-operator family restaurant. However, you cannot change trades to uses that will inconvenience residents, such as eating houses and industrial trades.

Higher ex-gratia payment under clearance / Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme

The ex-gratia payment will be increased from $48,000 to $60,000 for tenants affected by land clearance or Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme. Shop tenants eligible for ex-gratia include:

  • Tenders before 4 March 1999
  • Assignments before 1 June 1999
  • Businesses fully owned by Singapore Citizens

Reduced rental deposits for discharged bankrupts

If you are a discharged bankrupt who would like to take up an HDB shop, you only need to pay a 1-month rental deposit. You also need not have a personal guarantor. Previously, you would have to pay a 2-month deposit and have 2 personal guarantors.

Home Improvement Programme (HIP)

Besides flat owners, commercial retailers can also benefit from HIP. HIP will help you with common maintenance matters related to ageing premises. HIP works are carried out in a systematic and comprehensive manner to minimise any inconvenience. 

There are 2 main categories of works under the HIP: essential improvements and optional improvements. 

Essential improvements include:

  • Replacement of waste pipes and pipe sockets
  • Repair of spalling concrete and structural checks
  • Upgrading of electrical supply

Optional improvements include upgrading of toilets/ bathrooms, and replacement of the entrance door and gate, and the refuse chute hopper.

 

Pro-business measures for commercial lessees

If you are our commercial lessee, we have the following assistance measures for you.

Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme

We introduced the ROS scheme in November 2007 to help shops enhance their vibrancy and competitiveness. The scheme is made up of 3 components:

  • Co-funding for upgrading of common area (enhanced)
  • Co-funding for promotional activities
  • Rent-free periods for tenants to renovate their shops

MAs can choose to take up all or a combination of the measures. 

Lower electrical upgrading cost

We have reduced the cost to upgrade the electrical loading for our commercial premises. For electrical upgrading to 1 phase 60amps, the charge is $45 per amp, instead of the previous $85. To let businesses of different scales enjoy this benefit, we have also removed the minimum charge requirement.

Conversion to 30-year leases

Even if you purchased your shop at a longer lease, you can convert to 30-year leases to reduce your operating costs under the Sale of Tenanted Shops Scheme.

We will buy back your shop for the balance lease and sell the shops at 30-year leases to you. The buy-back price and selling price for the shops are based on the lower of the net original price, or the prevailing market price (less discount if applicable). You will not be eligible for this scheme if you purchased your shop from the open market or by tender (Sale of Shops Scheme). 

Home Improvement Programme (HIP)

Besides flat owners, commercial retailers can also benefit from HIP. HIP will help you with common maintenance matters related to ageing premises. HIP works are carried out in a systematic and comprehensive manner to minimise any inconvenience.

There are 2 main categories of works under the HIP: essential improvements and optional improvements.

Essential improvements include:

  • Replacement of waste pipes and pipe sockets
  • Repair of spalling concrete and structural checks
  • Upgrading of electrical supply
Optional improvements include upgrading of toilets/ bathrooms, and replacement of the entrance door and gate, and the refuse chute hopper.
 

SPRING Singapore

Learn more about SPRING Singapore can help your business grow.

SPRING Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and is responsible for helping Singapore enterprises grow. As the enterprise development agency, SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capability and management development, technology, and innovation. SPRING also oversees the safety of general consumer goods in Singapore.

Visit SPRING's website to see how SPRING can help your business grow, or watch SPRING's video on the 5 must-know schemes for your business.