The day we’ve all been restlessly waiting for has come, and Singapore has finally exited the Circuit Breaker.
However, before we dash out of our homes in euphoria and attempt to carry out every single activity we’ve been waiting to do, we need to understand that our lives from now onwards will be a long stretch from what it previously used to be like.
As we rev our engines and restart our work towards normalcy, we have to remember that our society isn’t the same place that we left behind before we entered the Circuit Breaker.
Our economy is in shambles and Singapore will be entering a recession this year. A dark, ominous cloud looms above our heads, fuelled by a significant amount of uncertainty, especially over the duration and intensity of the period. Singapore’s GDP growth forecast for 2020 has been revised downwards to -7% to -4%, the lowest in Singapore’s history.
How long will we be stuck in this rut? How bad will it be? What can we do moving forward to prevent things from getting worse?
While you may think of yourself as a small speck in Singapore’s 5.6 million population, every effort counts and we all need to work together to save our little red dot. Don’t know where to start? Here are 6 ways in which you can contribute to getting Singapore back on her feet.
AVOID DELIVERY SERVICES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND ORDER DIRECTLY FROM THE F&B BUSINESS ITSELF
While delivery apps like GrabFood and Foodpanda are undoubtedly a convenient option, placing an order via them may be harming your favourite eateries more than helping them.
These platforms charge a whopping 20% to 40% commission for regular deliveries and 10% to 20% commission for self pick-up orders. To make up for the loss, some eateries tend to jack up their prices, but this usually ends up deterring diners from ordering from them. You can read about all this in detail here.
It is pretty hard to eliminate our usage of such apps completely as there are instances where it is the merchant’s only delivery option or it is inconvenient for you to takeaway from the eatery itself. However, as much as possible, we should try to minimise our usage of these platforms whenever we can to support our local establishments. Check out Facebook groups such as Singapore Restaurant Rescue and Hawkers United — Dabao 2020 to find out which restaurants and hawkers you can order directly from.
SEND YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES SOME FOOD
We know it’s a bummer that we still can’t really hang out with all our friends and we sorely miss them. One way to let them know that you’re thinking of them is to send them food. Aside from making your friend happy, you will also be supporting local businesses as well. That’s killing two birds with one stone!
You can order meals from your favourite restaurants that offer islandwide deliveries in Singapore, send them a pint of ice cream or two, or your favourite Basque Burnt Cheesecakes.
Mala instant noodles and Suan La Fen are all the rage in Singapore right now. Order a carton of the popular Mala Oden to send to your friends and family.
LEAVE A TIP WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Though Singapore doesn’t have a tipping culture, there isn’t anything wrong with giving a tip once in a while to spread some happiness and make someone’s day. The next time you order something or head down to dabao something from the chicken rice auntie near your house, tell the merchants or delivery person to keep the change. It may be a minuscule gesture, but every small step counts in helping our local businesses.
#SAVEFNBSG AND VISIT YOUR LOCAL HAWKERS CENTRES AND EATERIES
The F&B scene in Singapore is in absolute ruins right now. With eateries not being able to allow their customers to dine in and having to switch to delivery and takeaway options, sales have taken a plunge, leaving these poor businesses in a sinking ship that’s close to becoming fully submerged.
We’ve already heard of a number of businesses that have given up on the battle and closed down to cut losses. It would be awful if more of such dining establishments follow suit and we should do as much as we can to protect the remaining ones.
So, whenever possible, support our hawkers and restaurants by patronising them. It doesn’t have to be a daily affair, but we can all attempt to do so whenever convenient.
#SUPPORTLOCAL AND ORDER SOMETHING FROM HOME-BASED BUSINESSES OR HOME-GROWN BRANDS
We must not forget that aside from our brick and mortar stalls, home-based businesses and home-grown brands are just as badly affected by the pandemic as everyone else. For a period of time during the Circuit Breaker, these brands were not allowed to operate so as to curb human-to-human interaction. This also means that they were not receiving any revenue at all.
To help them out, you can always make a small purchase from them. For a comprehensive list of home-based and home-grown businesses, you can check out hbb.sg.
#TREATYOURSELF AND DO A LITTLE SHOPPING
Who would have ever imagined that spoiling ourselves with occasional gifts would be useful in saving Singapore’s dying economy? With most physical stores being shut for the time being, many of our favourite brands have desperately turned to online platforms to continue their businesses. To help them make it over the next few hurdles before stores are allowed to re-operate again, purchasing something from them online can help boost their sales and survive another month.
While we aren’t asking you to go crazy and start carting out all the items in your wishlist, a little retail therapy to #treatyourself will definitely help to stimulate the economy. So yes, get those pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing; you deserve it for surviving the Circuit Breaker.