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  • Seoul Makes a Close Local Support System for Small Businesses

  • SMG 714

    Now, as Seoul is pushing to “revitalize the economy,” the city has announced the Seventh Election’s (’19-’22) Seoul Small Business Comprehensive Support Plan for the 690,000 small businesses and self-employed people in Seoul that form the backbone of Seoul’s economy.

    This plan recognizes small businesses as the lifeblood of economic activity and is focused on having more strategies which ensure their continuous survival and growth in the ever-changing business environment. To this end, the city will implement strategies for the expansion of support customized to the various life cycles stages of businesses and for the fortification of commercially-oriented competitiveness. A local support platform, which will become the foundation for regular support that helps small businesses grow, and a local small business governing institution, to attract the participation of other districts, small businesses, and public institutions, will both be constructed. To prevent failed entrepreneurship in some industries, Seoul will use big data to give startup consulting to small businesses. This will help to mitigate the financial burden faced by small businesses struggling with business management, to further develop the social safety net, and to provide balanced support without alienating or ignoring anyone.

    Firstly, one Small Business Comprehensive Support Platform, which will offer a one-stop financial consulting and business development package for all small businesses in the corresponding region, will be opened in all twenty-five districts by 2021. The platforms will offer startup consultation and joint-brand development in addition to business life cycle services for a close marking of small business within the region.

    To revitalize side street businesses, where approximately 80% of small businesses are situated, 60 “community business districts” will be started by 2022. Through support like a map which analyzes the local characteristics and consumption patterns in neighborhoods with struggling businesses, art marketing, etc, these areas will grow into “community business districts” that are competitive and get local residents patronage, revitalizing local businesses through local consumption.

    To lessen the heavy burden of increasing business expenses, long-term low interest loans from the Small and Medium Enterprise Nurturing Fund will continuously be expanded while keeping interest rates at 2-2.5%. Furthermore, in order to ameliorate the disadvantages of small businesses in unfair trade situations, the autonomous districts will direct related administrative matters to improve stability.

    This April, the Small Business Research Center, which will take charge of policy development for survival strategies and strengthening small businesses, will be established by the local government. This center will rigorously examine policy developments and promotions that can be directly applied on-site at businesses, and, additionally, will provide business analysis services to help small businesses be successful.