Government announces the launch of Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme
The HKSAR Government has recently announced the setting up of the “Anti-epidemic Fund” to enhance Hong Kong’s capability in combating the novel coronavirus epidemic and to provide relief to enterprises and members of the public affected by the current epidemic outbreak.
To provide relief to retailers to help tide them over their financial difficulties during this challenging time, the Government will launch the Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund on March 23, 2020.
A sum of $5.6 billion is earmarked under the Fund for the Scheme which is expected to benefit some 70,000 retailers. Each eligible retail store will receive a one-off subsidy of $80,000. The first tranche of payment will be made within April.
To be eligible, an applicant must be:
- conducting substantial and substantive retail business at a fixed physical and individually operated store in Hong Kong; and
- running a business that has commenced before January 1, 2020 and is still in operation at the time of application.
Under the Scheme, eligible retail stores do not include:
- stores with licenses of restaurants, canteens, light refreshment restaurants, fresh provision shops, food factories, bakeries, siu mei and lo mei shops issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
- hawkers (including licensed hawkers);
- mobile stalls and counters in department stores without a separate payment system and stores operating under a short-term tenancy of a duration less than six months; and
- retail stores conducting non-store retailing via mail order, internet or direct marketing sales only.
Eligible retail store could submit the application starting from 23 March 2020 to 12 April 2020 via online application system. The Government will make the first tranche of subsidy payment within April.
Under the Scheme, the maximum amount of subsidy for a parent company that operates retail groups or chain stores under the same business registration is $3 million (equivalent to no more than 38 stores).
Applicants are required to submit documentary proof of their applications, including a valid Business Registration Certificate and two other most-recent bills/statements which can ascertain their eligibility for the subsidy such as MPF contribution statements, rental receipts, utility bills, etc.
About the Anti-epidemic Fund
Here a list of supported sectors under Anti-epidemic Fund:
Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme
- To target businesses which sell goods at a physical location mainly to the general public for personal/household consumption.
Food License Holders Subsidy Scheme
- $3,730 million has been allocated
- a subsidy of $200,000 to each eligible holder of any of the following premises-based licenses in operation: general restaurant, marine, factory canteen license
- a subsidy of $80,000 to each eligible holder of any of the following premises-based licenses in operation – light refreshment restaurant, food factory, bakery, fresh provision shop license
Convention & Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme
- $1,020 million has been allocated
- A 50% subsidy of the participation fee at each exhibition and major conventions organised by HKTDC will be granted.
Rental waivers for tenants at the Science Park, industrial estates and Cyberport
- The rental relief will cover all start-ups, incubates, co-working space users, office tenants, partner companies, professional services companies and merchant outlets at the Hong Kong Science Park, InnoCentre, industrial estates and Cyberport
To read more about Anti-epidemic Fund here.
Hong Kong Budget 2020/21
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po announced the 2020/21 Hong Kong Budget on 26 February, outlining the Hong Kong SAR Government’s plan for the economy and shared their proposals for taxation developments. To read more about Hong Kong Budget 2020/2021.