Elderly Tanjong Pagar Cobbler’s Business Suffers Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Hawker stalls and retail stores have suffered declines in sales due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While we’ve worked together to support many local businesses, one elderly cobbler’s plight has seemingly gone unnoticed until today.

On Thursday (9 Sep), a woman named Gina Ong shared the struggle of the cobbler who plys his trade in Tanjong Pagar.

elderly Tanjong Pagar cobblerSource

She hopes more Singaporeans will support the uncle, who’s reportedly earning less than $100 a month.

Customer discovers elderly Tanjong Pagar cobbler

In a Facebook post in the Hawkers United Dabao – 2020 Facebook Group, Ms Ong shared the challenges faced by the elderly Tanjong Pagar cobbler.

Initially, she chanced upon the cobbler outside a FairPrice outlet in the neighbourhood and sent some of her shoes for repair.

elderly Tanjong Pagar cobbler 1Source

Upon getting her shoes back, she was impressed by his delicate and neat sewing skills.

Cobbler apparently earns less than $100 a month

Some time afterwards, Ms Ong found out that the cobbler’s business had declined throughout the pandemic.

According to her, the cobbler now earns less than $100 a month.

As more people work from home, the cobbler would hardly get any customers from 7am-12pm on a typical day. Sometimes, he might not even get a single customer even after an entire day.


On the day when Ms Ong spoke to him, the cobbler packed up 12pm despite earning just $6 as he was tired

Before the pandemic, he reportedly earned around $1,000 per month.

Ending her post, Ms Ong hopes more people will support the uncle, who provides high-quality craftsmanship at a reasonable price.

Past patrons praise his working ethic

Apart from Ms Ong, other netizens who had patronised the business also attested to the uncle’s cobbling skills.

One past customer claims that his stitches were done evenly and neat.


This netizen also praised his services but urged customers not to speak too fast, presumably due to his age.


Besides his superb workmanship, this customer also lauded the cobbler for his keenness to help.


Support local businesses

Tales of struggling businesses have become fairly common as the pandemic drags on.

Many business owners may not wear their struggles on their sleeves, but if you suspect a business near you is going through some tough times, we hope you’d get in touch with them and offer a helping hand.

The pandemic seems far from over so we hope everyone works together to help each other overcome the challenges ahead.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Facebook