Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute more than half of China’s tax revenues, two-thirds of the country’s economic output and 8 out of 10 urban jobs.
Coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 490 people in China and infected more than 20,000, is bringing a huge impact on the business.
The government has injected more cash into the economy and ordered banks and local governments to help businesses cope, including extending loan payment dates or cutting borrowing rates.
Financial institutions have also pledged to lower rates for virus-stricken firms based in Hubei province and more measures are under consideration.
Mall operators say they will temporarily waive rents and fees for commercial tenants nationwide.
However, major losses due to business suspensions are not fully covered by existing insurance products, and some financial sector sources say many lenders were hesitant of increasing their exposure to SMEs.
Wang Haiyan, a florist in Shanghai, said she already lost 10,000 to 20,000 yuan on unsold flowers as some clients cancelled events or postponed weddings due to the outbreak.
“Valentine’s Day is when florists make the most money. Now, these hopes are dashed to pieces this year,” Wang said.