Singapore Cocktail Bar Association raises $120,000 to help bar staff affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

SINGAPORE – A group formed to help bars hit by the pandemic has raised $120,000 to help up to 240 affected bar staff.

Eligible bar employees whose monthly pay is $3,400 or less can each get up to $500 in relief.

The Singapore Cocktail Bar Association (SCBA) made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 18). It said $60,000 of the funds were raised from corporate sponsors, with the rest matched by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Foundation via its $2 million Compassion Fund to help businesses tide over Covid-19 challenges.

Applications to the SCBA-SBF Foundation Compassion Fund are limited to Singaporeans, permanent residents and work-pass holders currently or previously employed by SCBA’s 54 member bars. The bars comprise cocktail bars, restaurant bars and spirit bars.

Eligible applicants are those who have lost their job; transiting between employers within the cocktail industry; or have had their salary cut by 30 per cent or more between April 1 and June 30.

The SCBA is also raising funds for two more rounds of reliefs by the end this month, to support member bars through the New Bar Support Fund – which aims to offer a month of rental relief to bars less than a year old – as well as the Industry Recovery Fund.

The latter aims to support bars that have had to pivot their business, by providing access to services -capped at $1,000 – from companies in the fields of design, public relations and photography.

Bars here have been hit hard by social distancing measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Establishments with bar licences remained closed, while those with restaurant licences have reopened but have had to drastically reduce their capacity, and shorten their operation hours to abide by the 10.30pm closing time.

The SCBA, formed in April, is led by founding president Gan Guoyi (co-owner of Jigger & Pony Group), vice-president Vivian Pei (academy chair for Asia’s 50 Best Bars) and treasurer Andrew Yap (co-owner of The Old Man Singapore), alongside founding board members Paul Gabie (chief executive officer of Proof & Company and director of 28 HongKong Street) and Ivy Woo (owner of Food News Integrated Marketing and co-founder of the Singapore Cocktail Festival). Other members include representatives from spirits brands and cocktail bars.

Applications to the SCBA-SBF Foundation Compassion Fund can be made via this website.

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