Retailers’ Relief – deadline of 12 April 2020


Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme – Eligibility and Requirements

The HKSAR Government has established the “Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme” (the “Scheme”) being a part of the HK$30 billion “Anti-epidemic Fund” to provide relief to retailers over financial difficulties arising from the COVID-19 epidemic.

This summary intends to assist you in determining whether or not your company/ your client’s company may benefit from the Scheme, and if so, what the application requirements are.

All applications must be submitted by midnight Sunday 12 April 2020.

The relief fund is for “retailers” only

  • To be eligible for the fund, you must be carrying on a business in the resale of tangible goods to the general public for personal or household consumption or utilisation.
  • The Scheme does not cover stores providing personal and business services. Whether or not a business is a “retailer” will be determined conclusively by the Government.

How much is available?

  • Each retail store is eligible for a one-off subsidy of HK$80,000.
  • A parent company which operates retail groups or chain stores under the same business registration may claim up to a maximum of HK$3 million (each retail branch of the retail chain must submit a separate application).


To be eligible under the Scheme, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. The store is conducting a substantive retail business at a fixed physical and individually operated store in Hong Kong.
  2. Business commenced before 1 January 2020 and is still in operation at the time of application.

The following businesses are EXCLUDED from the Scheme:

  1. Mobile stores and counters in department stores which do not have a separate payment system.
  2. Stores operating under short-term tenancy (i.e. duration of less than 6 months).
  3. Retail stores not operating from physical stores but via mail order, internet or direct marketing sales only.
  4. Hawkers (including licensed hawkers).
  5. Licensed restaurants, canteens, food factories, bakeries etc. with licences issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

Documents required

  1. A valid Business Registration Certificate in respect of the store (valid as of the application date and commenced before 1 January 2020). To be uploaded in JPEG format.
  2. Any two (2) of the following four (4) documents:
    1. (a) MFP contributions statement (within 2020).
    2. (b) Rental receipt (within 2020), latest demand note for Rates and/ or Government Rent for the store.
    3. (c) Latest utility bill (e.g. electricity bill, water bill) for the store (within 2020).
    4. (d) Proof of electronic payment gateways used in the store (e.g. credit cards, Octopus, EPS, Alipay, WeChat Pay, etc.). such as a billing statement (within 2020).
  1. A recent photograph of the retail store, showing its name and shopfront (image taken within one month of application).
  2. Latest bank statement/ bank account book under the same name as the applicant/ company (i.e. the name of account holder should be the name of the business shown on the Business Registration Certificate).

Submission of Application

  • All applicants will be given an application number on submitting their application.
  • Application results can be checked online using the following information (1) application number and (2) Business Registration Number.  
  • Successful applicants will receive the subsidy by Autopay into their registered bank account within seven (7) working days of the date of approval.

The online application process is relatively straight forward. If you are a retailer or act for a retailer client, do make them aware of the application deadline (Sunday 12 April 2020) and encourage them to take advantage of the Scheme.

Eddie Look and Ivy Chan

Eddie Look
Partner | E-mail
Tim Drew
Partner | E-mail
Edmond Leung
Partner | E-mail
River Stone
Partner | E-mail
Pádraig Walsh
Partner | E-mail

Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.