Entrepreneurs praise Qingdao's moves to bail out businesses
Entrepreneurs roundly praised 18 new policies rolled out by the Qingdao municipal government on Feb 3 to help local small businesses ride out hardships imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, local officials said.
The coastal city in eastern Shandong province launched policies to boost small and medium-sized enterprises by reducing the burdens of loans, rents and social security payments.
A set of measures were launched to ease the financial difficulties of the companies, including the use of credit policy tools, encouraging financial institutions to increase credit to SMEs and encouraging banks to increase lending to smaller businesses.
The city also proposed to return half of the unemployment insurance premiums paid in the previous year to employers that do not lay off workers.
"For some medium, small and micro-sized enterprises in tourism, catering and other hard-hit industries, this is a challenging time", said Xue Zheng, co-founder of a local supplier of big data and artificial intelligence solutions.
"The government's timely policies can ease the pressure on their fixed expenditure on production and operations and help them to weather this hard time."
Local entrepreneur Chen Lihui also praised the moves.
"The current outbreak has reduced transportation and consumption, so enterprises cannot operate normally, so it is bound to affect cash flow," Chen said.
Chen added that the measures were timely for enterprises, reducing their rents and offering financial support.
According to Sheng Xitai, a senior investment banker and co-founder of Hongtai Capital Holdings, the slew of supportive policies will help prop up employment and protect the city's economic vitality as small businesses are a major force in the job market.