More Chinese provinces and cities have rolled out policies to support firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to reduce the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic.
China's Fujian, Liaoning, Sichuan and Hainan provinces, and cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, and Nanning announced a series of measures including rental reduction or exemption, tax reduction, and financial support to help firms tide over during the epidemic.
Hainan, Liaoning and Sichuan promised to exempt small-and-medium-sized firms from housing rent up to three months if they have rented state-owned properties.
Nanning and Hainan proposed to return half of unemployment insurance premiums paid in the previous year to employers that lay off fewer or no workers.
Meanwhile, Sichuan, Fujian, Liaoning, and Nanning required that local banks should enhance financial support to firms that face temporary difficulties amid the coronavirus outbreak, and not suspend or withdraw loans to them.
The slew of supportive policies came as experts warned that small businesses, a major force in the job market and livelihood-related services, are more susceptible to the economic repercussions of the epidemic.