Chinese local governments step up to help micro-services businesses

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Tourists take pictures of cherry blossoms on Su Causeway at the West Lake Scenic Area in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, March 20, 2022. The cherry blossoms came in in flower season across China. (Photo: Chinese Information Service/Wang Gang)

Nearly a month after China’s top economic planner and other government departments issued a series of measures to boost support for micro-businesses, local governments in various places including southern China’s Guangdong , North China’s Tianjin Municipality and East China’s Zhejiang, are rolling out detailed information to support policies to help service companies and local entrepreneurs cope with the impact of recent coronavirus outbreaks. COVID-19.

These policies, ranging from reducing taxes and deferring payment of fees to encouraging credit support and granting subsidies, are considered by experts to be the strongest set of support policies for service industries since the initial outbreak of COVID-19.

Although the strength of these policies differs from region to region, their strength has generally increased compared to past measures. For example, the city government of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, announced plans to cut six taxes and two fees for local utility companies by up to 50 percent, and it extended eligibility for small taxpayers to sole proprietorships.

Specifically, several cities have designed policies to support specific service industries. Of the 40 supportive policies Hangzhou rolled out on Sunday to help service industries, 15 are inclusive policies, and the rest are specifically aimed at the restaurant, retail, tourism and transport industries.

Guangdong has also proposed the same settlement. The Guangdong provincial government has also launched 47 policies to support service businesses, including some for specific areas like tourism and catering. For example, cities in Guangdong are urged to “lead” online platforms to further reduce restaurant service charges.

For transport companies, the government has said it will actively roll out oil subsidy policies. Guangdong will also suspend prepaid value-added tax (VAT) for airlines for one year.

A cargo plane taxis at Ezhou Huahu Airport in Ezhou, central China's Hubei Province, March 19, 2022. Ezhou Huahu Airport completed its plane flight test on Saturday -cargo.  The airport is the country's premier cargo airport, with the functional focus of air cargo hub and feeder airport for passenger transport.  Photo: Xinhua

A cargo plane taxis at Ezhou Huahu Airport in Ezhou, central China’s Hubei Province, March 19, 2022. Ezhou Huahu Airport completed its plane flight test on Saturday -cargo. The airport is the country’s premier cargo airport, with the functional focus of air cargo hub and feeder airport for passenger transport. Photo: Xinhua

The political supporters came as businesses were hit by recent resurgences of COVID-19 in many places, where residents were forced to cancel outdoor activities.

“After two years of battling the coronavirus, the government now has a better understanding of the impact of the epidemic on the economy,” Lin Jiang, an economics professor at Sun Yat University, told the Global Times on Sunday. -sen, noting that the difficulties in the service industry would put direct pressure on the country’s labor market, since about half of the Chinese population works in this sector.

He noted that the new round of support policies is designed as a comprehensive package of rescue measures. Several ministries are involved and interact to obtain the best effects. “This time the policies are rolled out globally,” Lin said.

Local entrepreneurs also hailed the policies as helpful, as they all have the same goal of cutting costs to help businesses survive the current tough times.

He Baolin, who owns a noodle restaurant in Shenzhen, told the Global Times that he was particularly excited about the policy prompting e-commerce platforms to cut commissions, as around 80% of the store’s orders come from online. .

According to He, the current commission is around 23% on online takeout platforms like Meituan. “I look forward to the new policy, which will start from April,” he said.

Meituan will halve commissions and set a maximum fee of 1 yuan per order for certain businesses in COVID-19 affected areas to ease the burden on private businesses.

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