Government support helps Shanghai's SMEs get back to work

Zhu Shenshen
Nearly 90 percent of local small and medium-sized enterprises have resumed normal operations thanks to billions of yuan in lending and easy access to technology.
Zhu Shenshen

Shanghai has taken various measures to help its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) resume operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including offering combined loans valued at over 30 billion yuan (US$4.25 billion), city officials said on Tuesday.

Other measures include offering free broadband, cloud resources, protective resources and support for research, recruitment, insurance and other areas.

At present, 89 percent of Shanghai's SMEs have resumed operation, with 79 percent of employees returning to their positions. 

In the service industry, half of SMEs have resumed operations, said Zhang Jianming, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

Shanghai’s SMEs have resumed work at a “gradual and stable” pace, Zhang told a city-level conference held on Tuesday.

The commission has tasked banks such as Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank to disperse the available credit, which will mainly support high-tech and innovation-oriented firms.

SMEs can also enjoy subsidies on insurance, financial guarantees and various financing services, especially enterprises heavily hit by the epidemic.

A special fund has also been established to award SMEs contributing to fighting the virus up to 1 million yuan each for research spending.

Other resources include free and upgraded broadband networks for SMEs, and work-at-home systems offered by high-tech firms and cloud service providers.

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