(Policy Address 2022) Hong Kong to raise more funding for SMEs, extend rental and fee concessions


Hong Kong will strengthen support for small and medium enterprises by raising the ceiling of the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (the BUD fund) from HK$6 million to HK$7 million. To support enterprises developing markets outside the SAR, authorities will also raise the funding ceiling of the SME Export Marketing Fund from HK$800,000 to HK$1 million.

The special measure to expand its funding scope will be extended to June 30, 2026, to continue to cover exhibitions and online exhibitions targeting the local market, and the eligibility criteria will be relaxed to cover non-SMEs. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong will set up a dedicated promotion center to support the development of Hong Kong people and enterprises in the GBA.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council will also set up more “GoGBA Business Support Centers” to cover all nine Mainland cities in the GBA and organize business missions and training in various mainland provinces and municipalities.

The Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme will be extended for another six months to July 31, 2023, through the Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The principal repayment option will be enhanced to prepare for the eventual normal principal repayment by enterprises in the future. Relevant arrangements will also be applicable to loans under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme.

In addition, the government will continue to reduce 75 percent of water and sewage charges for non-domestic accounts for eight months from December 1, 2022, to July 31, 2023, subject to a monthly ceiling of HK$20,000 and HK$12,500, respectively, per household. The 75 percent rental or fee concessions applicable to eligible tenants of government premises and eligible short-term tenancies and waivers under the Lands Department will be provided for six months from January 1 to June 30, 2023.