□ The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is pursuing measures to support not only for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and small business owners but also for the hardest-hit industries and livelihood of citizens hit hard by COVID-19, including young part-timers, who are struggling to cope with the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which shows no signs of abating..
<Support for Industries Hit Hardest>
▶ Culture & Tourism
– Support for the Production of Art Works and Online Content: A total of 225 creative performance teams among those whose performances have been canceled due to COVID-19 are eligible to receive around KRW 20 million in financial support per team for performance planning and production.
– Online “Social Distancing” Performances: Concerts without attendance of the audience are being streamed on the Internet through the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, where performances have all been canceled. A total of 10 teams of artists whose performances have been canceled due to COVID-19 are eligible to receive around KRW 50 million in financial support for production and payroll.
– Seoul Tourism Industry Support Program: A total of 1,000 travel companies in Seoul hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak will be selected and provided with KRW 5 million each for investment in laying the foundation for recovery, such as developing travel packages and online content, improving reservation systems, and promoting strategic marketing activities.
▶ Call Center Employees
– Improvement of Working Environment at Call Centers: Among call centers in Seoul with fewer than 50 employees, those that have installed partitions to prevent the spread of droplets from infected persons or purchased air filters, non-contact thermometers, cleaning agents, or face masks are eligible tolreceive 20% of the installation or purchase costs, up to KRW 5 million, as financial support.
– Early Order for Construction Projects and Prompt Execution of Construction Expenditures: This is designed to execute the budget of Seoul as promptly as possible in order to relieve the pressure on cash-strapped construction companies (i.e. ordering scheduled construction as soon as practically possible, accelerating payment of advance fees, fast-tracking of construction bidding, etc.)
– Reduction of Payment Period for Subcontractors: The payment period for subcontractors will be reduced from the previous maximum 15 days to maximum 5 days.
– Expansion of Public Purchase and Payment to Contractors: The SMG will be expanding public purchases from the underprivileged, including small business owners and businesses run by people with disabilities. Payment will be made within three days after the request, and prepayment will be made for up to 80% of the contract amount by early execution of the city’s budget.
<Support for Young Part-Timers and Other Vulnerable Groups>
▶ Support for the Youth
The youth support project will be carried out to alleviate the difficulties faced by young people who have lost their jobs.
– The “Youth Allowance” (KRW 500,000 per month) will be paid promptly upon the request of young people who have lost their jobs against their will.
– Promising business ideas of young freelancers will be selected, and up to KRW 10 millionin financial support will be provided.
– Young small business owners in the food service industry, who have been hit hard by a sharp drop in sales, will supply food to local district offices so that the district offices distribute it to the people in need in the communities. This program benefits both small businesses and the socially disadvantaged group.
▶ Disaster Relief Living Expense Assistance
– “Disaster Relief Living Expense Assistance,” with the aim of providing prompt emergency support to citizens who are struggling to maintain their livelihoods amid the outbreak, will be implemented for the first time in Korea to help overcome the national crisis and revitalize the local economy.
– Households with income below 100% of the median income, including low-income workers, self-employed small business owners, and non-standard workers (part-time workers, freelancers, construction workers, etc.) who have fallen through the cracks of the existing support system, will be paid KRW 300,000 to 500,000 per household in the form of either a mobile gift voucher or a prepaid card.
< Seoul will provide “Disaster Relief Living Expense Assistance” to citizens struggling to maintain their livelihoods amid the COVID-19 outbreak. >