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Seoul offers near zero-interest loans to small businesses

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)



Seoul Metropolitan Government said Monday it will provide 300 billion won ($255.6 million) in soft loans to small business owners hit hard by COVID-19 containment measures.

Facilities that have been suffering financial losses due to shut down or operational restriction orders by the government are eligible to apply for loans up to up to 100 million won with interest rates ranging from 0.03 percent to 0.53 percent.

The types of businesses that can take part in the finance assistance program are those categorized as high-risk facilities that had to comply with the quarantine rules including karaoke rooms, door-to-door sales firms, indoor sports facilities, private educational institutes and buffet restaurants.

Restaurants, bakeries and franchise coffee shops, internet cafes and funeral halls are also eligible for the program. Those who already have been granted COVID-19 emergency fund loans from the government can also benefit from the scheme.

“We will make the utmost effort to support self-employed workers and small business owners whose livelihoods are at risk by providing maximum loans in prompt and convenient manner,” Seo Sung-man, a public welfare official at the city government said.

Applicants can receive a loan of up to 30 million won without a screening process unless they have a serious condition for disqualification.

Applications open Monday via the homepage of Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation (www.seoulshinbo.co.kr) or the Hana Bank mobile app.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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