The city government adopted a series of new measures to stabilize the local job market amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and encourage entrepreneurship, local Chinese-language media reported Wednesday.
The measures, which were approved Tuesday, raise the secured loan amounts for both enterprises and individuals who start their own business, and offer job subsidies to university graduates to encourage employment and entrepreneurship. The measures also reduce the employers’ social security premium payments and refund part of the unemployment insurance payments to relieve the financial pressure on employers, which have been affected by the epidemic outbreak, the Shenzhen Economic Daily said.
Under the measures, all individuals who start a business in Shenzhen are eligible to apply for an entrepreneurial secured loan, which has doubled to 600,000 yuan (US$84,986). A secured loan of up to 5 million yuan will be offered to small- and micro-sized enterprises provided that their new recruits take up a specific percentage of the total number of their employees.
But the Chinese-language reports have not specified the required percentage.
The reports said the measures have lowered the application requirements for a secured loan for the small- and micro-sized enterprises without elaborating on the new requirements.
The city government will subsidize those startup incubators which reduce or exempt rent for the medium-, small- and micro-sized startups they incubate. The subsidy will be 30 percent of the amount of rent they have reduced or exempted, capped at 500,000 yuan, the Daily said.
The measures also address the financial difficulties faced by many enterprises due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has put the city’s economy on hold for about two months.
The city government will stop collecting the premium of local supplemental pension while floating the premium payment rates for employment and work injury. The city has reduced and exempted social insurance payments for employers. It is estimated that the corporate social insurance premium reduction and exemption policy will save local enterprises 28 billion yuan, relieving their financial burdens.
Shenzhen will also refund about 6 billion yuan in unemployment insurance payments to its enterprises this year under the new measures, the Daily said.
Up to 50 percent of the unemployment premiums paid in 2019 will be refunded to enterprises which do not lay off employees, or the number of employees they let go takes up less than 5.5 percent of the total staff.
The new measures offer an employment subsidy of 3,000 yuan to each college graduate, up from the previous 2,000 yuan. Up to 200,000 yuan will also be provided to local universities and colleges, which have set up an employment and entrepreneurship workstation for the students.
In another development, the city has decided on an additional input of 5 billion yuan (US$0.7 billion) to encourage financial institutions to step up lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) amid the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the Shenzhen Municipal Finance Bureau.
The bureau has also issued detailed plans to provide risk compensation for qualified SMEs to help them solve financing issues.
Staff with the bureau said that there would be a 30 percent increase of compensation for companies applying for new loans at participating banks from February to June this year.
It is reported that there are 37 banks that have signed on to the plan to aid businesses during this difficult time.
The scale of the loans for SMEs as well as individual businesses is expected to reach 200 billion yuan this year, according to the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.