MOP1.68 bln already spent through consumer e-card scheme

The first phase of the Macau SAR government consumer e-voucher scheme has already injected MOP1.68 billion (US$210.4 million) in the local economy, of which 63 per cent went to SMEs, local authorities indicated.

Some 614.000 residents have so far picked up their MOP3,000 consumer vouchers for the first phase valid from May 1 to July 31, with the second phase including MOP5,000 consumer e-cards to be valid from August to October.

Among the commercial establishments where the electronic consumption card can be used, approximately 60 per cent of the consumption subsidy was placed in SMEs, with establishments with less than 20 workers employed receiving around 40 per cent of the total amount of the spending.

Over MOP2.4 billion are expected to be injected into the local economy through the e-cards handed to residents, which include a daily set limit and can be used in businesses equipped with Macau Pass payment terminals.

From February 1 to July 7, a total of more than 10,000 applications were also received for the government’s SME Credit Guarantee Scheme and the SME Support Scheme, with more than 80 per cent of these applications approved, representing some MOP6.55 billion in funds provided, including MOP1.68 billion in government loans and MOP4.87 billion in bank loans.

Local authorities have also relaxed some requirements for applying to the SME Support Scheme – allowing companies that have been active for at least one year instead of two – with a total of 6,202 applications received and 4,638 approved, with MOP1.68 billion in loans provided.

The Executive Council has also proposed an amendment to the current law regulating debts incurred by the Macau SAR government, to increase the ceiling on the total amount allowed in debts incurred for SME credit guarantee support by 120 per cent to MOP2.2 billion.