'Govt ignored food vendors in third round of relief' - RTHK
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'Govt ignored food vendors in third round of relief'

2020-09-17 HKT 16:35
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  • 'Govt ignored food vendors in third round of relief'
A group of operators who run small establishments like fish ball places say thousands of ventures like theirs have been left out of the third round of coronavirus relief measures announced by the government.

They say around 8,000 small ventures like snack stalls, tea shops and food trucks, which hold only food factory licences, are not being given any financial aid this time while each restaurant gets at least HK$50,000 in subsidy.

Gordon Lam, the convenor at the Small and Middle Restaurant Federation, said ventures like fish ball stalls and bubble tea shops were given HK$80,000 during the first round of the anti-epidemic fund.

But they have been left out in the second and third rounds of relief announced by the government.

Owners of herbal tea shops, meanwhile, said their tale was even more bitter as they never got a cent from the government until now because they hold a different licence.

Lam's Civic Party colleague, lawmaker Jeremy Tam, said it’s unreasonable that establishments with these permits or licences need to follow the social distancing restrictions, but not getting help to stay afloat.

Tam also said people who run businesses in food courts in shopping malls are also being neglected as most of them are on a sub-lease, whereas the food court as a whole operates under one permit which is usually held by the owner of the mall.