New government subsidy to Retail businesses announced recently. On the following day, many retail business owners rushed to the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department. They went to apply for a change the nature of business. From as stated in the business registration certificate to “retail” in order to apply for the subsidy under the Anti-epidemic Fund.
Government spokesman on 2nd April made the following clarification again on Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme:
- The Scheme requires applicants to be conducting substantial and substantive retail business at a physical store. The Scheme does not require the nature of business on the applicants’ business registration certificate to be “retail”. Whereas, it’s not needed for retailers to change the nature of business when applying for the Scheme.
- In considering whether an applicant genuinely conducts substantial and substantive retail business at a physical store. The Government will examine the supporting document. For example a recent photograph of the shopfront, along with a Mandatory Provident Fund contributions statement, as well as a rental receipt and a water or electricity bill. To determine whether an application is eligible in a holistic manner having regard to the circumstances of individual cases.
- All eligible retailers must have conducted substantial and substantive retail business before January 1, 2020. Information submitted with the administrative records will be verified. The Government will ascertain if the businesses commenced before 1 January 2020. In case the relevant business registration information was revised recently, the Government will request the applicants to submit additional information and documents, which might lengthen the processing time of such applications.
- The Government also cautions that if any person has purposely provided false or misleading information with an intention of obtaining the subsidy. If this is the case, then the law enforcement agencies will start an investigation and follow-up.
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