The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that a relief fund of NT$42.7 billion (US$1.54 billion) has been earmarked to help food and beverage, entertainment and other service industries that have been heavily affected by a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in Taiwan.
Businesses that suffer a revenue drop of more than 50 percent from last month to next month are eligible for a one-time NT$40,000 subsidy per employee, on the condition that owners do not reduce staff or stop operations, the ministry said.
To apply for the funding, established businesses have to submit documents showing their sales have dropped by more than half compared with a year earlier, while newly established businesses could use sales figures from last month to next month for comparison with those from March and April, the ministry said.
For businesses whose operations have been suspended because of the pandemic, such as karaokes and nightclubs, each employee is to receive a one-time subsidy of NT$30,000 from the Executive Yuan, and NT$10,000 from the labor insurance fund, it said.
“Our goal is to stop businesses from going bankrupt. If the businesses survive, employees can continue to have hope,” Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) said, adding that the ministry would ensure the money goes directly to the accounts of employees.
All applications will be conducted online, starting from Monday next week to Aug. 31, and pledges of continued operations are a precondition for businesses to receive the funds, the ministry said.
More than 1 million employees are estimated to benefit from the new relief program, compared with the 300,000 who benefited in the previous program, a reflection of the severity of the current outbreak, it said.
The exhibition and convention business is to receive NT$220 million in subsidies, and exporters and insurers are to receive NT$130 million, while NT$210 million is to be set aside to improve the conditions at traditional and night markets, the ministry said.
As NT$19.3 billion has already been budgeted for relief for this wave of COVID-19 infections, it brings the total relief package to NT$62.5 billion, it said.
The ministry said that it is also helping businesses whose revenue has fallen by 15 percent to obtain bank loans.
“We will help negotiate with banks to help businesses obtain loans as large as NT$6 million, mostly to help with covering rent and personnel expenses,” Chen said.
The ministry will cover as much as 1.845 percent of the interest rate for one year, with a cap of NT$220,000, he said.
“We hope that by supporting businesses, we can support the public and get through this difficult period together,” he said.
CHIP CRUNCH: Apple’s woes show that even the king of the technology world is not immune from global shortages made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic Apple Inc is likely to slash its projected iPhone 13 production targets for this year by as many as 10 million units as prolonged chip shortages hit its flagship product, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the final three months of this year, but it is now telling manufacturing partners that the total would be lower because Broadcom Inc and Texas Instruments Inc are struggling to deliver enough components, the people said. Apple gets display parts from Texas Instruments, while Broadcom is its longtime supplier of wireless components. One Texas
Units of Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co are targeting to resume full operations of their Ho Chi Minh City plants by the end of next month, a move that could provide relief to global supply chains. Saigon Hi-Tech Park is helping its tenants, many of which are running at about 70 percent capacity, to operate fully next month, park deputy manager Le Bich Loan said in a phone interview. She did not elaborate on the steps the park is taking, particularly efforts at bringing back workers who fled to home provinces. The Ho Chi Minh City unit of Nidec Sankyo Corp,
EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), the nation’s two major airlines, reported accelerated revenue growth in the third quarter compared with the previous two quarters, thanks to robust air cargo business. EVA Airways yesterday said sales for last quarter rose 40 percent year-on-year to NT$25.81 billion (US$917 million), compared with an increase of 25 percent in the second quarter and a fall of 35 percent in the first quarter. China Airlines said sales grew 39 percent to NT$34.6 billion in the third quarter, after gaining 10 percent in the second quarter and falling 14 percent in the first quarter. EVA
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is embarking on a recruitment drive to hire 200,000 workers in Shenzhen, China, as it ramps up production of the new iPhone 13 series, Chinese business news outlet Eastmoney.com reported. Hon Hai is seeking to recruit those heading back to the city after China’s seven-day National Day holiday, which began on Oct. 1, to help churn out the estimated 100,000 iPhone 13s produced on the site each day, the report said. Following last month’s global release of the iPhone 13, Hon Hai entered its traditional peak season, and workers at its Chinese production sites are said