South Korea to provide new fiscal support for pandemic-hit firms

The government is planning to grant 40 trillion won (US$33.2 billion) of fresh funds to small firms and the self-employed before the Lunar New Year.
By: | January 10, 2022

Finance minister Hong Nam-ki said the funds will be fresh support, separate from the budget of 35.8 trillion won (US$29 billion), in the form of low-interest loans for small merchants.

This is part of a set of measures to stabilise the livelihoods of locals in the runup to the Lunar New Year holiday scheduled for January 31 to February 2 – one of the most important festivals in the country.

Small firms have incurred losses as health authorities have extended tougher anti-pandemic measures for two weeks until mid-January to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The government will “swiftly” implement a package of the 6.5 trillion-won (US$5.4 billion) to compensate small merchants’ losses and provide other support, said Hong.

It has set aside 3.2 trillion won (US$2.7 billion) of the budget to compensate them for their losses caused by the strengthened antivirus measures.

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In addition, the government plans to hire some 600,000 people, including 500,000 senior citizens, to fill state-supported job positions by the holiday, a measure targeted to strengthen job security for vulnerable people, according to Yonhap.