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Challenges Facing SMEs in Times of COVID & Beyond - Survey Findings Release

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An RGC Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) Project - Hong Kong Insolvency and Restructuring Law and Policy in Times of COVID-19 and Beyond

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Introduction:

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of insolvency filings by otherwise economically viable firms globally is expected to rise significantly. The collapse of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will have a serious impact in Hong Kong as SMEs account for 45% of the private sector total employment and 98% of all of the business establishments.

This Survey Findings Release is part of a symposium in which we will share the results of the SME survey we conducted during 15 July and 30 September 2021. It mainly covers findings on:

1. How have the SMEs been economically impacted by COVID-19?

2. How are SMEs able to adjust the arrangements with their largest source of expenditures, namely, the rental and payroll, in light of COVID-19?

3. How do SMEs continue to obtain financing in times of COVID-19 to solve their liquidity issues?

4. What are the variations in the take-up rates for the subsidies and loan guarantees provided by the Anti-epidemic Fund and various loan guarantee schemes?

The symposium will also hold a roundtable panel for invited guests to discuss their observations and insights in response to survey findings.

Programme:

08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:10 Welcoming

  • Prof Linda Chelan LI (Professor, Department of Public Policy and Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong)
  • Prof Wai-Yee WAN (Project Coordinator and Professor and Associate Dean, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong)
  • Ms. Christy CHAN (President, JCI Apex)

09:10 – 09:50 Session 1: Survey Findings

Presented by:

  • Prof Wai-Yee WAN (Project Coordinator and Professor and Associate Dean, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong)

Moderated by:

  • Prof Linda Chelan LI (Professor, Department of Public Policy and Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong)

Q&A

09:50 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – 11:45 Session 2: Roundtable (by invitation only)

Topic 1: Business conditions during the epidemic

Moderator:

  • Prof Linda Chelan LI (Professor, Department of Public Policy and Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong)

Discussants:

  • Representatives from Trade Associations (TBC)

Topic 2: Financing and Leasing Difficulties

Moderator:

  • Prof Phyllis Lai-lan MO (Professor, Department of Accountancy and Associate Director, Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong)

Discussants:

  • Representatives from Trade Associations (TBC)
  • Research team members from HKU

Topic 3: Restructuring and Insolvency Law Reform

Moderator:

  • Prof Wai-Yee WAN (Project Coordinator and Professor and Associate Dean, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong)

Discussants:

  • Insolvency practitioner (Legal)
  • Insolvency practitioner (Accounting)

11:45 – 12 00 Closing Remarks

About the CRF research project

This cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional research project entitled “Insolvency Law and Policy in Times of COVID-19 and Beyond”, [Project No. CityU C1115-20GF] is funded by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. The research project team is from the City University of Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong and National University of Singapore. Part of the research examines the impact of COVID-19 on private ordering and contractual relationships of SMEs. A survey is co-organized with Junior Chamber International Apex and conducted in collaborations with 19 SME trade associations in Hong Kong to obtain insights of the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, the behaviour of landlords on lease agreements, the sources of financing in times of COVID-19, and the gaps that continue to persist notwithstanding the provision of state funding and guarantees..

For more information about the research project, please visit our website at: https://sites.google.com/view/hkinsolvencyandrestructurelaw/home

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Organiser Research Centre for Sustainable Hong Kong (CSHK)

Organiser of Challenges Facing SMEs in Times of COVID & Beyond - Survey Findings Release

Led by Professor Linda Chelan Li and a cross-disciplinary team of experts, the mission of CSHK of City University of Hong Kong is to conduct impactful applied research in response to real-life sustainability challenges in Hong Kong and the Region. One of the themes of focus is the opportunities and challenges offered by the Belt-Road Initiative (BRI). CSHK works collaboratively with industry, professional services and business sectors, and the government through the innovative platform “Sustainable Hong Kong Research Hub”.

由香港城市大學公共政策學系李芝蘭教授出任中心總監的「香港持續發展研究中心」CSHK,旨在以應用研究方式應對香港及區域有關現實生活持續發展的挑戰,重點主題之一是一帶一路倡議的機遇和挑戰。我們以「香港持續發展研究樞紐」這個創新的開放平台,與業界、專業服務及商界和政府之間通力合作。

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