Hong Kong One Off Subsidy for Light Food and Cooked Food Stalls Who Struggles Amid Pandemic
The whole world is currently experiencing the worse pandemic, the COVID19. It is a respiratory illness that infects people rapidly. There is still no vaccine for this illness; hence, the only way to curb it is through prevention. Among the prevention measures is social distancing. Food stalls generally survive on crowds. As such, the step is causing food stalls to operate at full capacity with fewer patrons. Recognising this, the food catering sector can obtain the Hong Kong one-off subsidy.
Pressure Against Measures
Businesses selling cooked food or light food at their premises are hit hard because people are avoiding crowded places. The government is imposing social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Hence, the number of customers is dwindling. The tenants of refreshment stalls at the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department markets (FEHD) are feeling the pain of this preventive measure. Tenants are already struggling to pay for their rent and paying their workers if any. The situation is pressuring them to close business and vacate the premise.
Subsidising the Impact
As such, under the second round of the Anti-Epidemic Fund, tenants of these stalls can apply for subsidy scheme starting Monday, 27 April 2020 from FEHD. Each eligible stall tenant can obtain a one-off subsidy of HK$50,000. The support is specifically for tenants of cooked food or light refreshments at FEHD markets. Stall tenants can get the application form from FEHD’s District Environmental Hygiene Offices, or corresponding Market Offices or download it from the FEHD website. Tenants should read the guidelines and eligibility notes before applying for the subsidy. Eligible market stall tenant can submit their application to the corresponding District Environmental Hygiene Office or the relevant Market Office, by hand or by mail. The application for the subsidy scheme will end on 27 May 2020. Once FEHD receives the application form complete with supporting documents, and after verification, they will commence subsidy disbursement. FEHD estimates to begin disbursing subsidies in two weeks by crossed cheques to correspondence address registered with FEHD.
Sympathy for SMEs
FEHD markets not only provide stalls for cooked food or light refreshments. It also hosts small and medium businesses of all kinds including clothing, household items and trade services. These SMEs are not entirely forgotten under the Anti-Epidemic Fund. The fund states clearly that FEHD market stalls will receive an increase of rental concessions from 50 per cent to 75 per cent beginning April to September 2020. A rental concession is a win-win situation for both the landlord and the tenants. Tenants can continue operating from their known location and building or space provider can continue retaining fully rented stalls.