Businesses in survival mode get a few breaks

Measures to ease operating pressures on businesses and improve their cash flow include profit tax cuts and tariff concessions.

“At this critical time, we must take all necessary measures to preserve the vitality of the economy, in particular the survival of [small and medium-sized enterprises]and save jobs,” said Paul Chan.

He proposed cutting profits tax for 2021-22 by 100%, subject to a HK$10,000 cap, which will benefit 151,000 businesses but cut government revenue by 1.2 billion. Hong Kong dollars.

A tariff concession for 430,000 non-domestic properties will be granted for the four quarters of 2022-2023, subject to a cap of HK$5,000 per quarter in the first two quarters and a cap of HK$2,000 per quarter during the other two for each taxable property.

This will reduce government revenue by HK$3.4 billion.

Some 1.5 million businesses will have their registration fees waived for 2022-23, cutting government revenue by HK$3 billion.

The government will continue to waive 75% of water and sewage charges for 250,000 non-domestic households for eight months until November 30, costing the government HK$680 million.

Waivers or concessions for 34 groups of government fees and charges will be valid for 12 months from October, for various sectors such as aviation, maritime, logistics, retail, catering, agriculture and fishing, construction, tourism and entertainment, which will cost the government about HK$1.7 billion.

Tenants of government premises will receive 75% rent or concession for six months until September 30. Tenants who must close their premises at the request of the government will benefit from a complete exemption from rent for the duration of the closure. This will reduce government revenue by HK$1.4 billion.

A number of loan schemes will also be improved, including the application period for all guarantee products under the SME Finance Guarantee Scheme, which will run for one year until the end of June next year. Its special 100% loan guarantee will increase its ceiling to HK$9 million from HK$6 million and the maximum repayment period extended to 10 years from eight.

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corp plans to launch an export credit guarantee scheme next month to help small and medium-sized exporters get financing more easily.

Chan said the government had earmarked HK$13.2 billion under the anti-epidemic fund to create term jobs in the public and private sectors. Some 60,000 jobs had already been created by the end of last year. Additional funding of HK$6.6 billion has been earmarked under the sixth round of the anti-epidemic fund for 30,000 term jobs.

Chan proposed to allocate HK$135 million to the Trade Development Council over the next three years for the introduction of a program to facilitate Hong Kong businessmen, professional service practitioners and entrepreneurs. Kong on the mainland.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce said the budget focuses on providing targeted financial assistance and boosting the city’s long-term competitiveness.

He said the rebates, concessions and waiver of fees and charges “will bring relief to struggling businesses”.

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