BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China announced Saturday rental reductions or exemptions for small and self-employed businesses in the service sector, which were reeling from weak consumer spending during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The rent relief aimed to support epidemic-hit micro- and small companies and self-employed businesses, especially in the sectors of catering, accommodation, tourism, education, housekeeping, theater and hairdressing, according to a plan jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and seven other departments.
The country vowed a three-month rent exemption in the first half of the year for such companies renting state-owned properties, and encouraged lessors of non-state-owned properties to offer such rent relief or delay rent collection, according to the plan.
It also urged state-owned financial institutions to extend pledge loans at concessional rates to such lessors according to their needs.
The country has unveiled a slew of measures to support small businesses, including increasing lending, lowering financing costs and offering tax breaks, to help them tide over the hard times.