February 9, 2020 / 11:12 AM / 17 days ago

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

A man wearing a face mask shops for vegetables inside a fresh food store 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 epicentre 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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