February 9, 2020 / 11:16 AM / 2 months ago

China's Hubei to cut costs for small firms to ease coronavirus burden

Community volunteers deliver donated vegetables to elderly residents at Furen community on the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 8, 2020. Picture taken February 8, 2020. cnsphoto via REUTERS

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, will offer subsidies and cut costs for small and medium-sized firms to help them cope with the impact of the epidemic, the local government said on Sunday.

It said it would pay 30% of electricity costs for small and medium-sized firms involved in medical supplies, and cut the prices of water and natural gas for other smaller enterprises.

It will also move to cut rent, environmental inspection fees and financing costs for small and medium-sized firms and grant tax exemptions if they have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

Reporting by Ryan Woo and David Stanway; Editing by Mark Potter

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