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Taiwan's Covid-19 economic relief package

The ECCT arranged a webinar with officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on the subject of Taiwan's Covid-19 economic relief package - Stimulus 4.0 in Chinese (Covid-19最新紓困方案-商業服務業營業衝擊補貼). The event featured opening remarks by Emile MP Chang, CEO of InvesTaiwan and the Director-General of the MOEA's Department of Investment Services (DOIS, 投資臺灣事務所執行長 / 經濟部投資業務處處長) and a presentation by Hsu Wan-rong, Executive Officer in the MOEA's Department of Commerce (經濟部商業司許菀容專員).

In her presentation, Hsu introduced the MOEA's bail-out plans for the service industry and how eligible companies can apply. She noted that the bail-out programme was open to a wide variety of industry sectors and foreign companies were eligible that as long as they are registered as local entities with official tax numbers.

To apply for relief, applicants need to fill in application forms online and the provide necessary documentation.

Subsidies can be used for operational expenses, rent or personnel costs. To qualify for relief companies must have either closed voluntarily or been ordered by the government to close. They must also be able to prove that sales have declined by 50% or more in either of the months of May, June or July 2021, compared to either the same months in 2019 or compared to average sales in March and April of 2021.

The range of businesses that are covered by the relief programme are restaurants, retailers, wholesalers, advertising, design, laundry, hair and beauty salons, photographic services, translation and entertainment services.

Qualified applicants can apply for a one-off subsidy of NT$40,000 per full-time employee (NT$30,000 from the ministry and an additional NT$10,000 yuan issued by the Employment Stability Fund). Self-employed people or businesses employing just one person can also apply for the same amount. The number of employees has to be verified by the Ministry of Labour. Companies that have been ordered to cease operations by the central government may calculate the subsidy based on the number of full-time employees in Taiwan. However, they must comply with regulations to pay the subsidies to the employees whose salaries during the suspension period did not reach their basic salary levels.

In order to prevent abuse of the system, conditions apply. Companies with fewer than 200 employees will be disqualified if more than one sixth of employees have quit and the same applies if more than one fifth of employees from companies with more than 200 employees have quit. Companies also may not be dissolved or closed after receiving funds, among other conditions.

Hsu went on to describe the procedures to apply online. Qualified applicants will be contacted by the ministry and asked to provide more evidence within seven days.