Although the Government has proposed 2 rounds of Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF), with a total of $167.5 billion to assist firms. It appears to be insufficient to alleviate the burden of businesses and workers. For instance, the vacancy rate of Hong Kong office has hit a 10-years high. In addition,the unemployment rate has reached a peak over the past 15 years, with 6.2%. With the volatile development of the epidemic, the global economy has been in a recession since early-2020. Hong Kong is no exception. Hence, the Government has adopted a focused approach to enhancing our anti-epidemic capability.
Enhancing anti-epidemic capability
In order to prepare the next potential wave of the epidemic, the Government will further invest $13 billion.
- To procure vaccines against COVID-19 and provide additional subvention to the Hospital Authority.
- To lower the contact on a high-risk place such as wet market, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will subsidy the contactless payment such as Octopus Pos Machine in public markets.
Direct subsidy to specific sectors
Some sectors have been dramatically suffered due to Government’s regulation or by hard-hit from the COVID-19. To lower their operation cost, a total of $4.5 billion subsidies to 27 sectors including Education, party rooms will be supported.
wAIVES OR CONCESSION OF fEE
Apart from subsidy support, the Government will also extend the previous policy of fee waivers or deduction.
- Extend existing waivers of 27 groups of government fees and charges by 1 year.
- Prolong the 75% waiver of water and sewage charges payable by non-domestic households for 4 extra months.
- Enhance rates concession to non-domestic properties for Q3 and Q4 of 2020-21 by raising the exemption ceiling $5,000 per quarter.
Enhancement of the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS)
This scheme, which has launched for over 9 years, aims to assist local SMEs to obtain an increase in productivity and competitiveness. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past few months ago, the Government has announced enhancements on 80% and the 90% Guarantee Products.
To further alleviate the pressure on the cash flow of SMEs, the authority will adjust the maximum loan amount to 12 months of the total amount of employee wages and rents or $5 million (whichever is lower). Furthermore, the authority will extend the maximum repayment period to 5 years.
Moving to co-working space/serviced office
While working in CBDs has been an essential concept for many companies in many years, the cost of traditional office in Central, Admiralty is unaffordable. Continuously operating a business with prime CBDs address, a co-working space or serviced office is an ideal option to control your expenditure. Opened for 8 years, WYND offers various membership, including Private Office Room, Workstation & Hotdesk at an extremely favourable rate. If you are interested, you are welcome to arrange a tour for a visit to our office.
Come and join us @WYND.
We hope you can benefit from the Anti-Epidemic Fund