The COVID-19 (formerly known as Wuhan pneumonia) third-wave infection appears in Hong Kong with a lot of sources unknown. Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s (CHP) communicable disease branch warned that the outbreak is severe and advised the public to work at home if possible. Nevertheless, distance business is not easy for the old generation. No available system, no experience, and no sense of security. Is government fund such as the BUD Fund or the EMF helpful for these seniors?
Well, these 2 funds are not. Though BUD Fund is for upgrading, we need to pack it with marketing and target on applicable markets, while the EMF is only for promotion outside Hong Kong and not for IT system. In spite of this, BizMagnet consultant can introduce two funds suitable for distance business. They are the distance business programme (D-Biz) and the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP).
D-Biz Full grant for IT system and training
Distance Business Programme (D-Biz) is a scheme under the anti-epidemic fund to help SMEs to do business remotely during COVID-19. Remote business system can reduce the impact of blocked traffic and home office. In theory, the D-Biz will finance the whole IT project with training fee less than 10% of the project cost. Each company can apply for at most 3 projects and get at most HK$ 100,000 for each project. However, the programme received enormous amount of bad comments since the launch on 18th May. The actual grant is much less than the expectation and disappoint a lot of SMEs and IT suppliers. Yet, the authority gave an additional provision to D-Biz. You may give D-Biz a try, and the deadline of application is 6pm, 31st Oct 2020.
TVP funds 75% of the IT solution cost
Comparatively, the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) is a regular funding. The Innovation Technology Commission (ITC) will fund 75% of the IT solution cost, and each company can cumulatively get HK$ 600,000 at maximum to enhance productivity, upgrade or transform the business process. TVP projects that help distant business include document management & mobile access system, enterprise resource planning (ERP), online shop system etc. Moreover, TVP applicants can commence the project after application submission from 1st June, and this saves around 6 months to wait for the approval. Companies with better cashflow can consider the TVP, and commence the project after submission.
Whichever you choose, we recommend clients to understand thoroughly how technology helps in COVID19 pandemic and communicate well with employees. Health is wealth, an infection may affect dozens of family.