FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Grant ceiling for SME fund doubled to $1m

The changes would kick into effect by August 1.

The Trade and Industry Department (TID) is enhancing various SME funding programmes including the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) and the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) effective August 1.

The cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise for the current EMF and the Mainland Programme under the BUD Fund will be doubled to $400,000 and $1,000,000, according to a government statement.

Moreover, the maximum number of approved projects under the BUD Fund will be tripled from three to 10 each. The condition under the EMF stating that the last $50,000 of the grants cannot be used for export promotion activities will also be removed by August.

Also read: Government earmarked $50m for SME Technology Voucher Programme

The move aims to ensure that small businesses in Hong Kong can tap into the various business opportunities offered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development plan and the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The enhancements to be introduced will provide enterprises, in particular SMEs, with a wider funding scope, a higher grant ceiling and more streamlined application requirements and vetting mechanisms for exploring new markets and new business opportunities" a government spokesperson said in a statement.

The ASEAN Programme under the BUD Fund will also be launched to provide support to non-listed Hong Kong enterprises. Business can obtain funding of up to $1m on a matching basis for projects aiming to develop the ASEAN markets.

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