Budget aid bypassed us, says business alliance - RTHK
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Budget aid bypassed us, says business alliance

2020-03-04 HKT 18:26
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  • An alliance of small and medium-sized businesses say they haven't received any relief measures and are struggling to survive. Photo: RTHK
    An alliance of small and medium-sized businesses say they haven't received any relief measures and are struggling to survive. Photo: RTHK
An alliance of small and medium-sized businesses have demanded financial aid from the government amid the economic downturn, saying they have been left out of a HK$30 billion relief fund announced recently by Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The group calling itself the Alliance of Sectors Forgotten by the Anti-Epidemic Fund said it's unfair that they can't benefit from the war chest, while other trades, like retail and catering, have been given a lifeline by the government.

One of the group's organisers, Trevor So, said at least 17 types of businesses, such as tutorial centres, gyms and hair salons, are struggling.

They said with no business and no help from the government, they can't last much longer, and many as 300,000 workers will be affected.

The group demanded HK$80,000 to HK$200,000 for small and medium-sized businesses to help them stay afloat.

Jacqueline Lee, the co-owner of a recruitment agency, said she is under great pressure to make ends meet, and would appreciate any help from the government:

"I am not asking for a lot, just to cover our expenses," she said.

An emotional Lee, who said her husband is facing a serious health issue, added that the difficulties are creating tremendous mental stress for her.

So, who represented education centre workers, said officials have failed to identify the trades in need.

He said it is regrettable that Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung, who is in charge of the anti-epidemic fund, had refused to meet them.