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Thoughtful measures can help get small businesses back on their feet

Pub Date:2020-07-20 08:51 Source:China Daily

Many cities in southern parts of the country are facing the threat of floods and large numbers of personnel, materials and devices are still being deployed to fight the floods. The whole nation has been mobilized to help the regions that are suffering to minimize losses and help them recover as quickly as possible.

Among the measures taken, one taken by local banks in Jiande, a city in Zhejiang province, is rather creative. According to their new policy, the companies that do aquatic products businesses can get an additional special loan of 100,000 yuan ($14,300), while the interest rates of both the new loan and their existing loans will be lowered.

Similarly, a local bank in Shexian county, East China's Anhui province, issued a low-interest loan for businesses suffering because of the floods. In 67 counties, over 1 million farmers can get zero-interest rate loans as a kind of support.

These moves are both necessary and timely. Many of the farmers, whether their businesses are aquatic products or field products, operate small businesses that are quite fragile in the face of a crisis. For example, the livelihood of a household may depend on just one pond. If the floods ruin it, the household will immediately fall into difficulties.

Yet being small also means that it is easy to help these businesses. One loan of 100,000 yuan might be enough for them to buy new materials and restart their business in the same pond, and a few months later the business will be operating normally again.

Past experience shows the importance of issuing low-interest or zero-interest loans to small businesses after floods. This is especially important this year as the country has been getting production going again after having largely contained the domestic spread of the virus. Quite a number of businesses were in difficulties because of the enforced dormancy and they might need more help than previously.

The central leadership has set job security and ensuring basic living needs as key priorities, and in response one policy after another has been introduced to provide a supporting hand to those small businesses enduring a difficult time.


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