SINGAPORE - Neighbourhood shopping malls will have more incentive to create a family-friendly environment from October, when a government grant to fund such initiatives is enhanced.
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Here is the press release from the Ministry of Social and Family Development:
From 1 October 2014, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will enhance the FamilyMatters@Business Grant to give neighbourhood shopping malls a boost in creating a family-friendly environment for their customers. This was announced today by Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, at a visit to Compass Point Shopping Centre.
The FamilyMatters@Business Grant provides funding to help businesses adopt practices that welcome families. Since its introduction in April last year, it has funded over 50 businesses to cater to the needs of their family customers.
Under the enhanced grant, neighbourhood malls will receive up to 70 per cent of actual costs,capped at $200,000, when they implement family-friendly initiatives. This is a significant four-fold increase from the current cap of $50,000. Please refer to Annex for more details of the enhanced grant.
Shopping malls located in heartland areas can apply for the one-off grant to defray costs incurred in creating a family-friendly environment for their customers. The grant covers infrastructure, amenities as well as services that offer safety, convenience and fun to families, especially those with young children, elderly and disabled family members.
A holistic family-friendly environment does not depend solely on the hardware, but also the software. For this reason, MSF will provide other support to the malls, such as service training for mall managers and frontline staff to serve families better. There will be customised training modules to help service staff understand the needs of families and equip them to provide timely assistance and good experience to their family customers. The training programme will be ready in mid 2015.
Ms Low said, "Our neighbourhood malls are where we often eat, shop and hang out. However, many of these establishments can do more to cater to families - be it families with young children, or persons with disabilities or the elderly. Family-friendly businesses will not only attract more customers, they contribute to the overall sense of family-togetherness that we want to nurture in Singapore. It is a win-win outcome for all. This is a chance for the shops in the heartlands to improve the quality of their business by improving the quality of time families spend together in their malls."