COVID-19 or not, city maintains entrepreneurial spirit

Yang Meiping Zhang Chaoyan
Shanghai's thirst for business remains strong: 12 of every 100 people aged between 16 and 64 started their own business last year.
Yang Meiping Zhang Chaoyan

Shanghai's entrepreneurial spirit remains strong despite the impact of the COVID-919 pandemic,with its prevention and control measures, and and an economic slowdown.

Nearly 12 of every 100 people aged between 16 and 64 started their own business in 2020, slightly lower than the previous three years, but still robust, a survey released on Monday by the city’s employment promotion center found.

The survey also showed that startups played a crucial role in creating jobs. It said each startup in the city created an average 8.1 jobs, a figure which has remained above eight every year since 2014.

Residents showed a generally optimistic attitude towards the city’s entrepreneurial atmosphere. An estimated 40.4 percent think the city has created an environment very, or relatively, favorable for entrepreneurship.

More than 70 percent of entrepreneurs said they were still optimistic about the startup environment in the city and full of confidence for the outlook of their enterprises.

The authority said the abundant startup resources in Shanghai and various entrepreneurial policies and services offered by the government offset the impact of the coronavirus on confidence.

But simplified approval procedures for startups, tax breaks or subsidies and a range of suitable sites were also critical for most startups.

The local government has spared no effort to help enterprises ride out the difficulties during the pandemic.

The city’s employment promotion center introduced and implemented key policies to ease the burden of starting up for entrepreneurs and helped 12,546 people start their own businesses last year. 

And a record 848 million yuan (US$130.2 million) of guaranteed loans were issued in 2020, a nearly five-fold increase on the previous year.

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