Anti-epidemic fund committee meets

March 26, 2020

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung today chaired the third meeting of the Anti-epidemic Fund Steering Committee to examine the latest progress of the 24 measures under the $30 billion fund.


It also reviewed how to better support businesses and individuals affected by the epidemic on a wider basis through these measures.


Ten of the measures under the fund are aimed at enhancing anti-epidemic capabilities and the remaining 14 support enterprises and safeguard jobs by providing one-off subsidies to assist affected enterprises and disburse special grants to needy and disadvantaged groups.


The measures have been rolled out progressively and are expected to benefit more than 110,000 business establishments, 200,000 families and 1,470,000 people.


Among them is the $5.6 billion Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme which provides relief to retailers hard hit by COVID-19 to help tide them over the financial difficulties.


The scheme has been open for applications since March 23 and each eligible retail store will receive an $80,000 one-off subsidy. Some 70,000 retail stores are expected to benefit from it.


The steering committee said it is pleased with the overwhelming response from the retail sector.


As at 8am today, it has received nearly 40,000 applications, with most of them from small-scale retail stores. The application period for the scheme will close on April 12.


Mr Cheung said the Government aims to give out the payment to the first batch of eligible applicants in early April.


"We will process the applications and disburse the subsidies as soon as possible to provide timely relief to retailers hard hit by the epidemic to help tide them over the financial difficulties and continue their businesses.”

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