Draw to determine final recipients of tycoon funding

| Cindy Wan 3 Dec 2019

Some HK$100 million of the Li Ka Shing Foundation's Crunch Time Instant Relief Fund will be distributed to small and medium-sized enterprises that did not make the cut in the first two phases.

The foundation has donated HK$900 million out of the HK$1 billion fund in three phases to hawkers and SMEs in the food and beverage, retail and travel industries since the scheme was launched in October.

F&B and retail businesses that were unsuccessful in their applications will now go through a random computer draw to share the remaining HK$100 million of the fund.

Each grant is worth HK$30,000 and successful applicants will be notified via mobile text messages.

The third phase of the scheme attracted 1,585 applications from travel companies and 4,942 applications from licensed hawkers.

A total of 27,000 businesses out of 43,000 applications are to benefit from the fund, with a success rate of 62 percent.

All successful applicants will receive the money by mid-December.

The foundation said tycoon Li Ka-shing, who established the foundation, was touched when he received gifts.

"Personally, Mr Li is profoundly touched and encouraged by the outpouring of well wishes and gifts he received from many proprietors of the F&B sector," the foundation said.

"He understands more than anyone the hardships entrepreneurs have to bear," it said. "But with fortitude and self-belief, everyone can overcome hard times and reshape their future even if we hit the ground. Stay positive. Never give up."

The foundation also expressed gratitude to the representatives of the Federation of Hong Kong Kowloon New Territories Hawkers Associations, which assisted hawkers with their applications.

"To be able to serve the community is always a blessing. We are grateful that the fund has been met with resounding enthusiasm and we would like to thank all individuals, groups and communities that have offered us considerable support," it added.

Li's foundation was established in 1980 to work on education, medical services and research initiatives. The fund was launched in October to provide immediate financial aid to SMEs, helping them overcome the "unprecedented economic challenge."

Li has invested over HK$26 billion across 27 countries and regions, with about 80 percent of projects within the Greater China region.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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