Local start-ups would not be left behind in the government’s Stimulus 4.0 COVID-19 relief package, as the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration has set up a special office for them, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The announcement came after the ministry and the National Development Council on Friday last week discussed in a videoconference with several industry representatives how to support local start-ups amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan.
“We realized that some start-ups do not fall into the traditional categories that were receiving assistance as part of the Stimulus 4.0 package,” Small and Medium Enterprise Administration Deputy Director-General Betty Hu (胡貝蒂) said by telephone.
For instance, an operator of a scooter-sharing app service might not qualify for relief measures if the company sought assistance from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Hu said.
To make sure that some start-ups’ digital businesses that cover multiple industries, but are difficult to categorize can still receive funds, the agency has set up the office to assist start-ups with help similar to what businesses in other categories receive, she said.
“The requirements are the same as for many other businesses,” Hu said. “Their revenue for any month from May to next month must show a fall of more than 50 percent compared with either that month last year or the average for March and April.”
There are approximately 2,800 registered start-ups in Taiwan, with some already qualified for relief funds, such as online merchandisers, she said.
“A few hundred” might benefit from the new office’s assistance, she said.
In addition, as with other businesses, fulltime employees of start-ups will receive wage subsidies, while those renting office space at the Start-up Terrace in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口), as well as at incubators at the Nangang Software Park (南港軟體工業園區), the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學工業園) and the Kaohsiung Software Park (高雄軟體科技園區), would have their rent halved for three months, the agency said.
The office is to consider applications until Aug. 13, it said.
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