Government Handing Out Subsidy Schemes for Public Entertainment Businesses and Commercial Bathhouses
The COVID19 pandemic is taking over the world as we speak. Most countries are rolling out an economic stimulus package to stabilise their economy. The epidemic is causing people to stay at home or at least practise social distancing. Social distancing is now leading to business services to halt operations. Affected industries include places of public entertainment, commercial bathhouses, gyms, tuition institutions, spas and saunas, hair salons, and many more. As such, the Hong Kong government is providing subsidy schemes for closed businesses as immediate financial relief.
Socialising Cut Short
In the view of preventing the spread of COVID19 in Hong Kong, the government is implementing social distancing throughout the jurisdiction. Businesses that rely on social density are severely affected. Under the directive, companies such as places of public entertainment and commercial bathhouses have to remain close. As the Hongkongers are complying with the orders, they too, are practising social distancing at all levels possible. These business license holders are now worried about their near future as they have bills to pay and workers to retain.
Financial Relief for Businesses
In light of curbing the epidemic and regulating the economy, the government, under its Anti-Epidemic Fund sets up subsidy schemes for closed businesses. The affected business sectors are places of public entertainment and commercial bathhouses. Business owners of these sectors could contact the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD). Each eligible business license holder could benefit from the subsidy scheme. For commercial bathhouse license holders, the one-off subsidy amounts to HK$100,000. For business owners holding the license for places of public entertainment, they can also obtain a grant of HK$100,000. However, eligible holder of a temporary place of public entertainment license (TPPEL) will get HK$20,000. Cinemas are also considered places of public entertainment, but they are under the purview of the Cinemas Subsidy Scheme. The financial relief is a one-off subsidy to help assist businesses with their financial burden. Eligible license holders can now apply for the grant from the FEHD website from 27 April 2020 onwards. They can also obtain application forms from the District Environmental Hygiene Offices. All applications for the subsidy will end on 27 May 2020. Applicants must submit their request by hand or by mail. The FEHD targets to disburse the grants two weeks after receiving and verifying completed forms with supporting documents. The subsidies, in the form of crossed cheques, will be delivered to corresponding licensed premises or address as indicated by TPPEL holders. To find out more about the subsidy and eligibility, license holders can visit the FEHD website.
Prevention With Support
Places of public entertainment, if allowed to operate during an epidemic such a COVID19, could cause a severe outbreak. Commercial bathhouses are also not allowed to open for business as its operations could worsen the situation. Hence, the government is keen on keeping the more extensive public safe while providing necessary support to these businesses.