Pandemics can bring out the best and worst in people.
The rounds of panic buying that left shelves of toilet paper and instant noodles forlornly empty, to the mass buying of bubble tea just before stores shuttered, have shown a side to Singaporeans that we may not be so proud of. However, in the midst of our battle against this global pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in the number of organizations and individuals that banded together to help those who are more vulnerable than ever.
In this three-part series, we will show you how to lend a helping hand to the (sometimes invisible) community around you. For the first of this series, we will focus on the small businesses and companies that have taken a hit since the start of the circuit-breaker. Think of your favorite hawkers who are facing dwindling patrons, that exotic café that now has even less customers, or the inevitably stifled art scene. Find out how you can continue to support the local brands you love below!
(Website: Chope and Save)
This is a website that has a directory of small businesses in Singapore which offer online gift cards for purchase. You can get purchase a card for future use and keep your store of choice afloat for this period. In there, you can find restaurants like Sunday Folks, Coocaca, Kombynation.co, to other local stores like BooksActually, The Projector, The Tinsel Rack and more.
(Website: The Starving Artists)
Created even before COVID-19, this page helps support artists in earning a living wage while doing what they love and do best – their art. Apart from constant closed doors and bureaucracy in the local art industry, the spread of COVID-19 has definitely halted the progress for many creatives looking to build their work and business. Meticulously crafted magazines, short story books, artworks, and even online programs can be purchased on the website, including donations if that is what you like. They have also created a bi-weekly Instagram festival featuring performances and live wellness sessions, available @thestarving.artists.
(Website: WhyQ Hawker Delivery)
Too hot to go outside for your preferred hawker eats? Don’t want to go through the big, corporate, food delivery companies? WhyQ could be your answer, being a food delivery service that brings hawker food to your doorstep. They promise a delivery charge of $1.50 per meal, with no minimum order for certain zones. Find hawkers like Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chop Chop Biryani & Meats, Mama’s Boy Mac and Cheese and more, and hope that it falls within your delivery radius.
Continuing on the chain of hawker-related organizations, this Facebook page is a free-for-all public page for locals to publicise hawker stalls that are still open for business and have good eats. It was created by Melvin Chew, the second-generation owner of hawker food stall, Jin Ji Teochew-braised Duck. One can find public-reviewed posts of hawkers here, along with promotions from hawkers themselves, and the occasional shout out for stalls that are facing more difficulty in their businesses. These factors will all help you make the decision to dabao or not to dabao. You can listen to Chew’s thoughts here, on a featurette done by the Straits Times.
(Website: I Lost My Gig (SG))
The platform mainly caters to artistes whose work is #MADEinSG (based in Media, Arts, Design, or Entertainment). Those who are out of employment may indicate through a form on the website how they have been impacted. There are options to redirect their talents and skills through volunteer work with other causes in Singapore. Moreover, there are forms for companies who are able to offer job opportunities with such artistes. Tell someone you know who could redirect their work and skills here, or even better – see if you can collaborate with someone listed on here!
Source: Singapore Restaurant Rescue Facebook Page
As their ‘about’ description quotes, ‘an already devastated industry is battling to survive’ – that is how this Facebook page has burgeoned in recent weeks. It is an inventory of restaurants in the country who are providing their own independent delivery service, with recommendations from previous satisfied customers. The group has 76,153 members and counting. Who knows, you may discover a restaurant near you that serves up a mean meal, and you will be saving the local food scene one order at a time (without going through third party services)!
Basically a one-stop shop on how to extend your help to anything under the sun that is local! In this compilation, you’ll find useful lists answering questions from “Which are some nice hawker eats still open for takeaways?”, “What restaurants are giving discounts right now?”, “I want something with island-wide delivery! Any lobangs?”, to “How can I pay it forward today?”.
With all these options, you will be able to contribute to local businesses during these trying times. Not only will you help keep businesses afloat and art alive, you are also helping Singapore to stay the vibrant and thriving city-state that we all know and love so dearly.
Have any other useful websites or platforms to share? Drop this writer a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!