Li Ka Shing Foundation offers HK$1 billion to support local F&B industry

One of Hong Kong’s richest men, Li Ka Shing, has set up a fund to aid the local food and beverage industry to the tune of HK$1 billion (£98.9m) in order to help offset losses caused by the recent political unrest.

Since the outbreak of the political movement in June, Hong Kong’s F&B industry has been severely impacted and revenue has dropped by as much as 30%. Over the course of the protests, about 200 outlets have shut down and their employees dismissed.

In reaction to the news, the Li Ka Shing Foundation has set up the ‘Crunch Time Instant Relief Fund’ which is aiming to provide as much as HK$1bn in relief funds to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) impacted by the unrest.

Following the initial announcement in early October, a total of HK$200 million will be set out for the first phase of the relief to support the F&B industry.

In this round, qualified SMEs, that are eligible to apply, are establishments with fewer than 50 employees and in possession of a valid Business Registration and proper F&B Licence (General Restaurant/Light Refreshment/Siu Mei or Lo Mei Shop).

Qualified SMEs in the industry will receive a cash grant of HK$60,000 as temporary relief by the end of November.

To ensure a streamlined application for speedy disbursements, the Foundation is adopting a “trust more, stress less“ attitude towards vetting. Qualified SMEs can submit applications online, which runs from 8 November until 17 November, on a dedicated website. They can also seek help from industry associations if they encounter any difficulties in making the application. The Foundation is also engaged in talks with retail industry representatives on the next phase to support retail establishments.

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