On February 9, Hubei provincial government issued Notice on Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) amid Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP). The document including 18 measures is to offer stronger finance and tax support, stabilize employment and help enterprises reduce production costs.
In detail, prices of industrial water/natural gas were adjusted (down by 10% from January 1 to June 30) in Hubei, where “supplying electricity, natural gas and water in spite of owing fee” applies to SMEs. Other measures mainly include:
* conducting three-month rent free and six-month rent in half, applying to SMEs renting state-owned units for business purposes
* extending contract performance period appropriately, applying to SMEs signing contracts with state-owned firms but failing to fulfill contractual obligations
* removing some expenses (related to special equipment inspection, sewage treatment, environmental detection and verification of measuring instruments) from SMEs greatly affected by the NCP outbreak
Further, some SMEs are hard to repay loans as scheduled due to coronavirus. In this case, the provincial government is to lower interest rates, reduce or not charge overdue interests and adjust repayment period/methods. For enterprises unable to pay taxes on time because of coronavirus, tax payment is to be deferred by up to three months.