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Government rolls out emergency relief for SMEs and low-income workers

Proposals include MOP 10,000 cash handout for certain tax payers, interest-free loans of up to MOP 600,000 and three-month rent exemption on government real estate.

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Proposals include MOP 10,000 cash handout for certain tax payers, interest-free loans of up to MOP 600,000 and three-month rent exemption on government real estate.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

The government today launched a raft of measures to help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and low-income workers who have been hamstrung by the pandemic.

The Secretariat for Economy and Finance said the measures aim to guarantee “the survival of commercial establishments and ensure employment”.

All Macao taxpayers and self-employed professionals who earned no more than MOP 144,000 in 2020 will get a MOP 10,000 cash handout.

Business income taxpayers and those under the second group of the Macau professional tax regime, who did not make a profit in 2020 will be given a grant of between MOP 10,000 and MOP 200,000 which will be based on 5 per cent of their operational costs in the last three years.

The government also launched an interest rebate scheme for bank loans that will allow SMEs to benefit from a maximum of 4 per cent interest subsidy for their bank loans granted by the government, every year, up to a maximum of three years.

SMEs which have been in business for 12 months or more can also apply for interest-free loans of up to MOP 600,000, with a repayment term of up to eight years.

The Monetary Authority of Macao is asking banks to adjust loan repayment programmes for SMEs and to join the Simple Pay service to provide, for the next six months, reduction, exemption or offers in terms of fees charged by the acquirers on SME transactions made through Simple Pay, in order to reduce the costs of commercial establishments.

For real estate belonging to the Macao government or other legal persons governed by public law, leased or granted to private entities, the payment of rent and remuneration for a period of three months is exempt.

The finance department will also readjust the effective amount of the collection of urban property tax and stamp tax on leased buildings, according to the month in which the rent starts to be reduced, creating a specific window for receiving requests reducing taxes and speeding up the processing of the respective requests. 

The government said that it “is committed to speeding up the procedures involved in implementing the respective support measures”. 

The government also said that the proposed budget change should be submitted as soon as possible for approval in the Legislative Assembly in order to benefit eligible companies and workers.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

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