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SMEs in Hong Kong face stiff challenge from COVID-19

[ April 13, 2020   //   ]

Fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak has affected almost all businesses in Hong Kong but the many trade-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face a stiffer challenge than most as prolonged factory shutdowns in Mainland China have weighed on the global supply chain network.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong, one of the world’s leading science and technology hubs and featuring a flourishing start-up ecosystem, has its access to the mainland talent pool restrained by the virus outbreak and resultant travel restrictions.
To help soften the impact on SMEs, start-ups and other sectors, the offices of The Chief Secretary for Administration and Financial Secretary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) asked the Legislative Council (LegCo) for a HK$30 billion (US$3.86 billion) one-off injection into an “Anti-epidemic Fund”. LegCo approved the funding on 21 February.
The fund would “enhance our capability in combating the [COVID-19] epidemic, and provide assistance or relief to enterprises and members of the public hard hit by the present epidemic or affected by anti-epidemic measures”, the secretaries said in a proposal document presented to the committee.
“The government will continue to assess the impact of the epidemic on society and listen to comments from all sectors, while introducing more support measures as necessary,” HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement.

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