The Hong Kong government will allocate US$271 million in aid for around 70,000 retailers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme will launch next Monday, with eligible stores set to receive an HK$80,000 (US$10,300) subsidy under the scheme to help alleviate their financial difficulties.
Beneficiaries of the fund must be substantial retail businesses operating since at least January 1 this year, excluding restaurateurs, hawkers and stalls in department stores without a separate payment system. Mail order, internet and direct marketing businesses are also excluded from the scheme.
Parent companies operating multiple locations can apply for up to HK$3 million ($386,200) in relief funding.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council will help implement the scheme with retailers instructed to apply online to speed up the application process and minimise the time required for vetting the eligibility of applications received. Applications for support will only be accepted from March 23 to April 12.
A telephone hotline has opened (1836 111) and an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) established for enquiries from retailers, which are operational now.