DSE adjusts subsidy repayment due to economic downturn

Lau Wai Meng (middle)

To support the financial difficulties that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may face in response to the recent economic downturn, the government has introduced short-term measures to adjust the repayment of various financial support schemes.
Companies that have previously obtained government loans through three schemes – including SME financial support, youth entrepreneurship financial support, or special financial support to SMEs affected by Typhoon Hato – are eligible to apply for an adjustment of repayments.
Eligible parties can reduce the amount of the latest unpaid loan down to 1,000 patacas. The remaining balance will be averaged in the remaining repayment period. The Macao Economic Bureau (DSE) estimates that about 9,000 loan cases will be eligible for short-term measures.
During a press conference on Friday, Lau Wai Meng, deputy director of DSE, said that recently, due to the uncertainties of the global economy, Macau’s economy has experienced short-term fluctuations and downward pressure.
Moreover, the bureau recently learned that all sectors face different levels of difficulty.
In order to assist and support SMEs in coping with possible financial difficulties, under the framework of the existing administrative regulations for various financial support schemes, short-term measures to adjust the repayment of various assistance schemes were introduced.
The measures are only applicable to repayments whose deadline is December 30, 2020. Each beneficiary company can apply for a maximum of two adjustments. If a company is in the final period of repayment then it cannot apply for the relevant measures.
According to Lau, as of October 31, a total of 17,666 loans were granted concerning the three schemes. The applications received a total of 5.26 billion patacas. Approximately 10,005 applications are still within the repayment period. The loan balance is 2.66 billion patacas.
In 2018, Macau was hit by Typhoon Mongkhut. To ease the economic impact of the typhoon, the bureau introduced similar adjustment and repayment measures.
Up to the closing date of applications, in July, a total of 56 applications for adjusting repayments were received. Around 42 were approved, involving a balance of 17.37 million. The remaining 14 were not approved mainly because it could not be verified if they had been affected by the typhoon.

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