BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities on Thursday released a circular stepping up loan policies for startups and individual businesses to help them cushion the blow from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Starting from Thursday to Dec. 31, individual businesses from hard-hit industries that temporarily lost their source of income due to the epidemic, taxi and ride-hailing drivers who took out loans to purchase vehicles and other eligible enterprises can apply for the guaranteed loans for startups, a circular jointly released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the People's Bank of China said.
The threshold for guaranteed loans for startups will be lowered and the maximum loan amount will be expanded, according to the circular.
It also urged financial institutions to grant reasonable loan extensions to small, micro- and individual businesses and cut interest rates.
China has issued 100 billion yuan (about 14.14 billion U.S. dollars) of guaranteed loans for startups in 2019, data from the MOF showed.
As the epidemic wanes and policy support intensifies, loan issuance is expected to soar 80 percent in 2020, which is enough to support 1 million individual businesses and 10,000 small and micro-firms, up 43 percent and 52 percent from last year, respectively, the MOF said. Enditem