China announces measures to support SMEs amid epidemic
BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- China will step up fiscal and financial support to the country's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they resume production after a Spring Festival holiday hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak, authorities said Sunday.
Local governments will be encouraged to reduce or waive taxes and administrative fees on certain SMEs and increase subsidies to corporate training programs, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement.
Financial institutions will be incentivized to lower loan interest rate to those promising SMEs hit hard by the outbreak, while fees on financial guarantees should be reduced, the statement said.
The country will also help SMEs with supplies of raw material and virus-control equipment, and extend the payment deadline for their electricity and gas bills, the ministry said.
SMEs will be encouraged to develop products and technologies contributing to the epidemic control, while online working space will be promoted to help companies go digital, the statement said.
SMEs are also expected to enjoy better public services including online training and legal aid, the ministry said.