SHANGHAI, March 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 89 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Shanghai had resumed operations as of Monday, with 79 percent of their employees back to work, local authorities said Tuesday.
Local authorities distribute more than 1 million masks daily to these SMEs and have facilitated over 20,000 SMEs to purchase masks. Epidemic prevention and control materials, including disinfection products and goggles, have been provided to more than 100 SMEs in the metropolitan, Zhang Jianming, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information, told a press conference Tuesday.
"SMEs have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Through the research of SMEs and a survey on 2,622 small and micro enterprises in Shanghai, we found the difficulties of SMEs in resuming work and production mainly include the increase of operating costs and the lack of confidence in development," Zhang said.
Shanghai has introduced a raft of measures to beef up the steady and healthy development of SMEs, including a 2 billion yuan (about 283 million U.S. dollars) financing service for small and micro enterprises and a 500,000 yuan award to SMEs related to epidemic prevention and control that plan to get listed, Zhang added.
According to the official, commercial banks, including the SPD Bank and the Shanghai branch of Bank of China, plan to allocate a special loan totaling 30 billion yuan to help SMEs cope with the impact of the pandemic.