HONG KONG

Hong Kong was among the first governments to extend economic support mechanisms to individuals and businesses.

As part of the 2020-2021 budget, several economic stimulus measures were approved to attack the crisis head-on.

The package included an HKD 10,000 (USD$1,200) cash payment to adult permanent residents, one month rent stipend for public housing residents, reduction in payroll, income, business, and property taxes, and low-interest loan financing for struggling businesses, among other measures.

Following the initial package, the Hong Kong government has since passed two rounds of additional financing support through an Anti-epidemic Fund. In total, the funding rounds were set to $30 billion and $137.5 billion, respectively. Key program initiatives with the Anti-epidemic Fund include:

– Financial support and subsidies to provide direct assistance for hospital needs, production of medical and personal protective equipment, and scientific technological applications

– Support for struggling businesses in impacted sectors, including retail, food, transport, and convention & exhibition

– Rental waivers for tenants at the Science Park, industrial estates and Cyberport

– $80 billion Employment Support Scheme to provide employers w/ 50% of wages for a period of 6 months

– Create 30,000 short-term jobs worth $6 billion over next two years

– $800 million job training program for private sector workers to learn new skills or for businesses to advance technology

– Supplemental subsidies for struggling individuals and businesses, including travel industry, cinemas, aviation, catering, and registered sport coaches, among others

– Enhanced SME Financing Guarantee Scheme by raising maximum loan amount per enterprise

– Reduce MTR fares by 20% for 6 months from 1 July 2020

– Defer certain tax payments for three months

– $2 billion to airlines and immediate supporting operators

– Expanded authority and lending capacity for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

For additional information on the aid packages announced by the Hong Kong government, visit their official Anti-epidemic fund website.