South Korea rolls out 15 trillion won support for small businesses
South Korea has unveiled an additional budget worth 15 trillion won (US$13.38 billion) to protect jobs and enhance support for small businesses, the government announced on Tuesday.
“We want to make sure there are no blind spots left when it comes to using support funds (for small businesses, compared to how we spent them before,” Ahn Do Geol, the deputy finance minister for the budget said at a news conference.
With the extra budget, total government spending would rise to a record 573 trillion won (US$511.23 billion) this year, up 11.9% from 2020, the finance ministry said.
Some 4.5 trillion won (US$4.01 billion) will also be allocated to job-keeping funds and childcare subsidies from the existing budget.
Over half of the extra budget will be allocated for mom-and-pop stores and to retrenched workers, while another 4.1 trillion (US$3.66 billion) won will go to vaccine purchases and COVID-19 treatment facilities.
The South Korean government announced on Friday that it would extend social distancing rules for two weeks nationwide, which includes a ban on private gatherings over four people.
The extra spending by the government to help businesses adds to an existing 310 trillion won (US$276.58 billion) spent since 2020 to fight the pandemic.