- A special 100% guaranteed SME Business Loan of up to HK$ 2million repayable over 60 months is now available to all Hong Kong enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak
- The HK Government has launched a comprehensive Anti Epidemic Fund with subsidies available to retail, F&B, Construction and Property Management businesses
- The Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales fund now offers HK$4 million in funding and will process applications for projects in any country that has a Free Trade Agreement with Hong Kong
In light of the recent additional challenges facing Hong Kong companies and enterprises across sectors, the local government is coordinating a comprehensive Anti-Epidemic Action Program that includes:
- A special 100% guarantee on small-medium business loans through the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme
- A HK$30 billion Anti-Epidemic Fund with a Support Scheme for the Property Management Sector and Subsidy Schemes for the Construction Industry, Food License Holders and the Retail Sector.
- Expanded regional coverage and increased funding from the Branding, Upgrading and Domestic sales (BUD) fund
- Special 100% SME Financing Guarantee Scheme
The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Ltd.’s long running SME Financing Guarantee Scheme has supported local Small and Medium Enterprises facing difficulty accessing bank credit facilities for almost a decade. As announced by the Financial Secretary in February 2020, the HKMC will now introduce a 100% guarantee on SME loans. Under the Special 100% Loan Guarantee, eligible applicants that own or manage a locally registered business with at least 3 months of operations by the end of December 2019 and report a 30% or higher decline in revenue compared to the monthly average of any quarter in 2019 may apply for a fully guaranteed loan of up to HK$2 million, at a subprime rate of 2.75% per annum, with a repayment period of up to 36 months. The Special 100% Loan Guarantee is available to local enterprises from any sector that has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Previously launched schemes, including the 90% Guarantee Loan of up to HK$6 million over 60 months and 80% Guarantee Loan of up to HK$ 15 million over 84 months are also available.
Property Management Support Scheme: The Anti-epidemic Hardship Allowance (APSM) subsidizes a monthly allowance of HK$1000 for Property Management companies to distribute to their critical service employees, for up to four months, between February and May 2020. The allowance is intended to support security and sanitation staff that require personal protection and a safe working environment in order to carry out their duties. Property Management companies will also be able to collect an “Anti-epidemic Cleansing Subsidy” of HK$,2000 for each building block, in order to help avoid increased operational costs and potential additional fees to be paid by residents. The APSM will benefit over 200,000 active service staff employed by around 800 Property Management companies overseeing approximately 33,000 residential towers.
- Construction Industry Subsidies
The construction industry anti-epidemic fund grants eligible contractors, subcontractors and consultants in the construction sector a subsidy of up to HK$50,000 per company. This subsidy program will be administered by the Construction Industry Council and the application period is between March 26, 2020 and August 31st, 2020. Registered Construction Workers will be able to apply for a subsidy of HK$15,00 per person.
- Food License Holder Subsidies:
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) is issuing a one-off subsidy of HK$200,000 to eligible restaurant license holders that file applications between March 5th and May 4th, 2020. Light refreshment outlets, delicatessens, food factories, bakeries and take away establishments may apply for a subsidy of HK$80,000.
Applicants are required to hold a valid F&B license issued on or before February 14, 2020 and continue to operate their establishment as of the application date. The application form is available here
- Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme:
Eligible retail stores will be able to apply for a one-time subsidy worth HK$80,000. Retail chain operators can collect a maximum of HK$ 3 million, which is the value of 38 individual store subsidies. This subsidy is available to shops that carry out substantial retail operations at a physical location with its own payment system and a commercial lease of at least 6 months. The application period is between March 23rd and 12 April, 2020, and the application is available here. Each outlet of a retail chain must file a separate application. FEHD-licensed retailers may not apply for this subsidy, while licensed hawkers should apply for a separate subsidy scheme.
- Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales Fund Enhancements (BUD)
The BUD fund covers funding to all economies with which Hong Kong has signed Free Trade Agreements, including:
- Mainland China,
- New Zealand,
- Macao SAR,
- European Free trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein),
- Asean Countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.)
And each business can now receive funding worth up to HK$4 million. Successful applicants will now receive 75% of their total approved funding from the government, rather than the earlier initial payment of 25%. The budget cap on individual expenditures such as equipment leasing, prototype production and patent registrations will be relaxed. The BUD fund will now also cover more investment categories for Mainland China projects, such as boosting production capacity.
We will continue to keep you posted on any developments and our business advisory team is on hand to assist with developing individualized adaptive strategies during this challenging time.