1. What is Covid Relief Stimulus 4.0 (疫情紓困 4.0)?
After the relative explosion of COVID-19 in May 2021, many businesses and individuals in Taiwan have been significantly affected. Taiwan’s government has rolled out a number of support programs for those in need of urgent rescue.
The Covid Relief Stimulus 4.0 program was implemented in June 2021, and the Executive Yuan later announced they will extend the benefits to businesses to more industries. The original program did for some reason NOT cover Taiwanese companies founded by foreign residents but this has now been remedied for most industries.
2. Who can apply?
We’ll focus on what’s close to our hearts, Taiwanese enterprises founded by foreign residents. If your monthly revenue has declined over 50% in any one month between May and July 2021, compared to the same term in 2019 (please note: not 2020), your company is eligible to apply for Covid Relief.
The qualifications may be different for each industry, so please find and contact the related office from the table below for confirmation. For example, if your business is in the commercial services industry, only companies owned by locals and applicants with APRC are able to apply for the relief.
In most cases, only Taiwan-registered companies can apply for the relief. However, the government allows for applications from branch offices and representative offices in some special situations. Again, please contact the consultation office to find out.
3. How much support can I get and how can I apply for it?
The amount of support money your company can receive depends on your industry. There are also different programs and application deadlines. Find your industry in the table below.
You can only apply to one of the programs, so please check which is the most suitable one and do the calculation and visit that program’s webpage directly to double-check the qualifications.
As an example, take a gym with 5 employees, it belongs to the sports-related industry. Because of lockdown regulations, it was ordered to suspend services for several months and can’t pay salaries during closure. The employer can choose one of the plans (see the fifth row “2.” of the table):
(1) apply for the subsidy of NTD10,000 x 5 employees = NTD50,000 that goes to the business
(2) apply for NTD40,000 x 5 employees = NTD 200,000, which goes to employees
Enspyre’s experience: successfully applied for NTD1,200,000 subsidy
As a marketing company, Enspyre is categorized as belonging to the Commercial Service Industry and was not ordered to suspend services by the government. For about two months, most of our employees worked from home. Thanks to us having invested in a new VoIP-based telemarketing system, our calling agents were after some initial teething problems able to make calls from home. However, since usually about 40-50% of our work is to help companies invite their potential customers to events and another 20% is helping salespeople set appointments to meet customers, many of our cases were postponed. And, with so many people working from home, fewer people were available to pick up our calls which significantly increased our costs.
Before we applied, from our total employee-count, we had to exclude some:
- Foreign employees without APRC
- Part-time employees whose insured salary is under NTD24,000 or anyone who does not have labor insurance via our company
We were left with 30 eligible employees. So based on our decreasing revenues, we could apply for a subsidy of NTD40,000 per employee (see the fourth row “1” of the table).
We applied online, uploaded the documents supporting our decreased monthly revenues on August 2nd, and received the subsidy to our bank account on August 9th. The process was surprisingly fast!.
Since the funds are limited, we suggest all of you who are eligible to apply as soon as possible.
4. Relief loans
Beside subsidies, the government also provides loans for startups, SMEs, and certain industries. They provide 80%-100% loan credit guarantees, interest subsidies, and previous application extensions.
This means that if you borrow NTD100,000 from the bank, the government promises the bank that IF you would default on the bank, the bank will get NTD80,000 to NTD100,000 from the government credit guarantee fund. Hopefully this guarantee will increase the chance that the bank will take the risk to lend you money.
Please notice in the cases of the credit guarantees, that even if this program can accelerate the application process, the bank would still check your previous credit for the final decision. Like Newtalks revealed that the banks still have little trust in the suspended business in spite of government guarantees.
Each program differs a bit so you need to look for the information that relates to you.
Enterprises are able to apply to the administering bank. Call the number 1988 or view the details on the website: https://0800056476.sme.gov.tw/covid-19/index2_detail2.php?gid=74
If your B2B company has faced difficulties in sales or business development during Covid-19, it is a good time to prepare for the post-pandemic. We can help you reach more customers to perform surveys, invite them to events or webinars and help set sales appointments for your salespeople to visit with new customers.
In the article “ How can B2B business survive during covid19” Chief Strategist Jim Hertzfeld indicated that “hyper-segmentation” and customer data updating is a new trend for B2B companies during Covid. Enspyre has since our founding in 2002 been building our database of companies in Taiwan. No matter what type of companies you want to reach, chances are we have them in our database.
We also provide phone answering services to SMEs. Good customer service is always in style.
Now we just hope that COVID-19 is soon in control and life and business can go back to normal. Stay safe everyone!