HK Government Subsidy to FB Industry announced as restaurant closures soar. Can subsidy help HK Restaurants amid Coronavirus spread?
HKSAR announced government subsidy to FB industry today. After Coronavirus outbreak, retail shop and restaurant closures are soaring in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, people are avoid of going to crowded places. Hence the restaurant sales have drastically declined. Despite of Coronavirus safety measures, foodie traffic has slumped to record low.
Increasing Restaurant Closures in HK
In fact, Hong Kong is one of the highest density of restaurants in the world. FB industry constitutes a key part of our economy. Unavoidably, Coronavirus outbreak is indeed a disaster to Hong Kong restaurants.
As updated, there are 56 infected cases in Hong Kong. Among all, 11 of them come from a family. They had dinner together in a hotpot restaurant.
Thereafter, LH Group, an established restaurant group, has temporarily closed 16 hotpot restaurants – namely, Yasai and Mou Mou Club.
As more restaurants are stuck in cash flow problems, they have insufficient fund to pay the rent and staff salary.
What are the Government Subsidy to FB Industry?
At last, HK Government announced some ways to soothe the pain of HK industries. Not only confined to FB industry, but also tourism and other industries.
For FB industry, Licensed General Restaurant/Licenced Factory Canteen can get HK$200,000, whereas Licenced Light Refreshment can have HK$80,000.
However, there is no mention of when the subsidy is available. No details for requirements or procedures of applications.
Estimate of the Government Subsidy to FB Industry
According to FEHD, there are 11,823 Licenced General Restaurants and 4,046 Licenced Light Refreshments respectively. On the other hand, there are 418 Licensed Factory Canteens in Hong Kong.
Provided that all current licensees are eligible for the subsidy, total sum of subsidy to FB industry is around HK$2.8 Billion. Quite a lot!
Nevertheless, the government has not announced the details of the subsidy, such as
- Who are eligible?
- when to apply?
- how to apply?
- when to receive?
Li Ka Shing Grant to FB Industry
As we know, Li Ka Shing Foundation granted HK$200 Million to support FB Industry last November. At that time, Hong Kong restaurants faced very difficult time after five months of protests.
According to this Grant, each qualified FB operator can get HK$60,000. Eventually, around 3,333 eateries have benefited from this private grant.
At that time, HK Government has no immediate cash subsidy to assist FB Industry.
Can HK Govt Subsidy help FB Industry?
Hong Kong Food & Beverage industry is now in deep water. Will HK Government subsidy help?
Indeed, we wish that the Government will act fast to reimburse the subsidy to FB industry. Otherwise, restaurant closures will continue to soar.
Hopefully, all F&B operators will ride over the tide of Coronavirus soon!
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