Beijing to support struggling firms

BEIJING: The city government of Beijing vowed to enhance financial support for firms that face temporary difficulties amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Loans to such enterprises will not be suspended or withdrawn in advance, said Huo Xuewen, head of the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau, at a news conference on epidemic control. The city will increase credit support for players in the areas of epidemic prevention and control and people’s livelihood. Some Beijing banks have begun to offer low-cost financial support to key companies on the front lines of epidemic prevention and control, said Huo.
The Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau also said at the conference that companies that fail to pay social security premiums due to the coronavirus outbreak will not have their welfare entitlement compromised. Previously, the city extended the collection period to allow companies in hard-hit industries like tourism, hospitality and catering to delay their payment of social insurance premiums. Confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland reached 24,324 by the end of Tuesday, Chinese health authorities said Wednesday.
A total of 490 people had died of the disease. A number of Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Qingdao and Suzhou, have rolled out policies to bail out small businesses by reducing their loan, rent and social security payment burdens. –Agencies