We are going to listen to the stories of self-employed individuals and small business owners who suffered a great deal in this gloomy situation. ST contained their stories, such as equity in the standard of prohibition of collection, adequate compensation for losses, and disaster support funds. ............................................. Ed
The Level 2.5 social distancing measures, which was being applied until the end of January 2021, is called ‘Strengthen Level 2 social distancing measures’ and was being carried out by changing the existing anti-virus rules. It prohibited more than five private gatherings nationwide and applied partial restrictions on prevention measures, such as the operation of multi-use facilities, including gyms. This kind of anti-virus measure was good news for small business owners and self-employed individuals who operated cafes and karaoke rooms. However, they could not be relieved because of the standards that changed every two weeks. The government was announcing measures, such as the small business owner support fund, which would provide customized subsidies to small business owners who have suffered from COVID-19.
- Loans for small business owners who rent out prohibited industries
From January 25, the government began lending for small business owners who rented non-collective businesses. The target audience was a small business owner who had not been able to operate due to the government’s ban on the collection of five entertainment facilities nationwide, song practice facilities, and indoor sports facilities. The loan amount was 10 million won, and the loan rate was 1.9% fixed interest rate per year.
- A temporary support fund for visiting care workers
This support for visiting care workers and after-school instructors who received the application until February 5 was a temporary subsidy to receive 500,000 won per person. As of January 15, the applicants had to be engaged in the support work on the condition of receiving the grant, and they could apply only if they had worked for more than 60 hours a month last year (over 6 months).
- Small business owner support fund
Since November 24 last year, small business owners who had been prohibited or restricted by the government and local governments could receive 3 million won and 2 million won, respectively. The government announced that small business owners who received the notification letter from the
agency from January 11 could apply online and would be paid as early as the afternoon of the application.
The Federation of Small Businesses said the policies that supported small business owners from the second disaster support policy through the survey were generally helpful. In particular, positive evaluations of “Emergency Employment Stabilization Subsidies,” “New Hope Funds for Small Business Owners,” and “Second Stage Financial Support Programs” were high. Also, 56.5% of “Emergency Management Safety Funds for Small Business Owners,” 51.2% of “Rental Support,” and 47.0% of “Direct and Indirect Tax Benefits/Reductions Such as VAT(Valued-Added Tax)” were high in the question: “What is the effective support policy?” This meant that small business owners preferred short-term measures rather than long-term ones, and the scale was small, so they focused more on solving urgent problems than mid-term to long-term measures or plans.
It is important to revitalize and recover economically at the moment, but it is also important to heal the mind suffering from psychological anxiety or depression.
Park Jun-young (ST Reporter)