BizMagnet wish you a Happy New Year and good health. In the new year time, our consultant would like to share viewpoints about current situation, and the consequence to government funding.
The Chinese Government’s termination of the “zero COVID policy” is the very first black swan of 2023. Almost nobody anticipated the sudden change before it took place. The immediate consequences to Hong Kong are: 1. border opening to mainland China and Macau, 2. cancellation of most social distance measures. These give both internal and external influence to the city.
Open the border again
Since the pandemic of COVID-19, mankind had attempted to eliminate the virus by social distance, lock-down, etc but failed. While the Omicron variant,less likely severe and most transmissible, dominates, many countries inevitably accepted the co-existence with the virus. On the contrary, China is the only major nation insisting clearance. Hong Kong, as a Chinese International city, was somehow embarrassed. Despite many Hong Kong experts suggested herd immunity after the fifth wave of epidemic, the HKSAR Government upheld strict measures continuously. The conflict came to a possible resolution when the Central Government released the “10 new measures” on 7th Dec 2022. The HKSAR Government cancelled most epidemic measures afterwards and announced to reopen the border with mainland on 8th Jan 2023. The 2-year border closure has suspended traffic and made exhibition, meeting and tourism frozen. Number of lay-off and bankrupt happened in the related sectors. Today the reopening gives a new hope to all impacted industry.
More funding application expected
Our BUD Fund applicants found a lot of implementation obstacles in the past three years. For instance, the exhibition planned in the BUD proposal were diminished or cancelled due to epidemic measures, especially in the Mainland Programme. Some cases had to be terminated totally. Now we expect, due to the re-opening, the number of the BUD application will hike tremendously. It will take place in the Mainland Programme as well as the IPPA Programme to Macau.
On the other hand, the cancellation of most measures (such as Leave Home Safe and Vaccine Pass) and the increase of traffic may lead the economic rebound. Industries such as catering, hotel etc are probably very first benefited. We expected related government funding (e.g. Technology Voucher Programme) increase.
The sudden change gives surprising impact. Numerous application can slow down the process significantly due to limited manpower and resource. Plus back and forth dialog, the delay may last for several months. Is it a must? No, we are not saying so. However, we should always prepare for the worst.
Frauds often happened in previous special facilities such as 100% Guaranteed loan. The Authority will maintain a good balance between speed and diligence. In simple words, the Authority gets plenty of experience and they can detect common frauds effectively.
Or you may wonder if the maximum increases. By considering the hike of the BUD and the EMF last year (Up to $7 million for BUD) and the extension of the BUD Fund, we don’t expect any further hike this year.
Further reading: Government Fund Fraud – You will pay for it
In summary, our consultants believe that the number of government funding application will increase due to border reopening and epidemic measure cancellation. The approving process will therefore be delayed. BizMagnet advise enterprises like to apply for the BUD Fund, the TVP etc speed up their planning. Our consultation service can facilitate your application and reduce obstacles. Welcome to inquiries.