China to step up support for small businesses amid epidemic control
BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- China will roll out a slew of supportive measures to help small businesses maintain stable development and tide over difficulties amid COVID-19 strains, a senior official said Thursday.
The country will further optimize the development environment for small and medium-sized enterprises while promoting the implementation of policies, including tax and fee cuts, Huang Libin, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), told a press conference.
More efforts will be made to bolster integrated development of small enterprises, establish innovation and entrepreneurship demonstration centers, and improve public service system to help firms tap international business, Huang said.
In order to help market entities alleviate epidemic-induced financing strain, financial institutions are encouraged to extend credit support to small and micro enterprises, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of the MIIT.
So far, principal and interest repayments on loans worth more than 1.8 trillion yuan (about 257 billion U.S. dollars) have been deferred, the MIIT data showed.
Meanwhile, the inclusive loan balance of micro and small businesses soared by 27.6 percent year on year to 13 trillion yuan with an average interest rate of 6.03 percent, 0.67 percentage points lower than last year's annual average, Xin added. Enditem