Beijing issues measures to support service sector during outbreak

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The Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau has announced a number of new measures to support service sector companies in a bid to minimize the economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak and ensure the supply of daily necessities. Many companies in the commercial and service sectors, including catering, retail and logistics, have been affected by the outbreak to varying degrees. 

Local authorities are encouraging shopping malls to resume operations as soon as possible, while promising subsidies for construction and upgrades. Meanwhile, state-owned companies have been instructed to play a leading role in guaranteeing the supply of daily necessities and stabilizing the market. 

Measures also include encouraging the catering sector to prioritize online food ordering and delivery services amid the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. Catering companies that have been hampered by the virus outbreak, or are working to provide daily necessities, are to be provided up to 70% of the costs incurred from rent, decoration and the purchasing of equipment.

Preferential policies to support supermarkets, convenience stores and grocery stores are also being introduced. 

For the major chain catering companies whose business have been affected by the epidemic or that have made contribution in securing daily supply to the people, the city has pledged to cover as high as 70% of their rental and decoration costs occurred from Jan. 1, 2020, up from the 50% previously announced. At the same time, authorities are encouraging the adoption of new business models and technologies during the epidemic.

In the express delivery and logistics industry, workers are being organized to return to work, in a bid to ensure stable delivery services. Companies have also been instructed to utilize safety measures, such as mandatory temperature checks, and delivery without direct human-to-human contact.

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