The Hong Kong government implement relief measures to businesses on electricity and water and sewage fees. Firstly, subsidising 75% of electricity charges for four extra months, subject to a monthly cap of HK$5,000, for non-residential accounts. Secondly, waiving 75% of water and sewage charges of non-domestic households for four extra months, subject to a monthly cap of HK$20,000 and HK$12,500 respectively.
Earlier on, Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced in his budget that the government will earmark HK$18.3 billion to support businesses. Since earlier in 2019, the US-China trade war, months of social unrest, and further potential damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Many of the local businesses has been affected badly.
The 5 new measures support businesses
- Concessionary low-interest loan scheme with 100% government guarantee up to a total of HK$20 billion. The maximum loan will be HK$2 million, with a repayment period up to three years and a moratorium on principal repayment for the first six months. The scheme will be open for application for six months.
- 100% reduction in profits tax for the 2019-20 assessment year, subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000. This reduction will be reflected in the final tax payable for the year of assessment 2019/20
- Waiving rates for non-domestic properties for 2020-21, subject to a ceiling of HK$5,000 per quarter in first two quarters and HK$1,500 per quarter for the remaining two quarters.
- Business registration fees waived for 2020-21, a measure expected to benefit 1.5 million business operators.
- Company annual returns fees waived for two years, a measure expected to benefit 1.4 million companies.
While Chan stated that he hope the measures will not only help businesses but also safeguard more than 3millions jobs. Therefore, he urge all employers and employees to stand together to ride out the difficult times.
The government had earlier announced a HK$30 billion Anti-epidemic Fund to implement 24 measures to further enhance the administration’s capability in combating the COVID-19 epidemic and provide assistance to enterprises and members of the public.
Chan forecast a deficit for the next five years, with an estimated HK$139.1 billion for 2020-21, equivalent to be around 4.8% of GDP. In 2004, Hong Kong saw a HK$63.3 billion deficit in the wake of SARS and an economic downturn.
You may want to read: http://centreo.hk/2020-budget-help-businesses-hong-kong/
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