Seoul Provides up to KRW 30 Million in Support to Protect Jobs in Four Manufacturing Industries

As of April 2020, the number of employment insurance subscribers in the manufacturing industry has amounted to 3,541,000 following the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to that of the same period of the previous year, the number decreased by 40,000, which is the biggest drop after the foreign exchange crisis in 1997.

Seoul plays a pivotal role in the employment of the local economy. Thus, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) strives to prevent this employment crisis from leading to plummeted employment and to protect jobs by providing emergency funds in four major manufacturing industries: apparel & sewing; handmade shoes; printing; and machinery & metal.

A total of KRW 20 billion secured through a supplementary budget will be employed for emergency funding. Up to KRW 30 million will be allotted to each business with less than 50 employees in the four specified urban manufacturing industries. Businesses must maintain employee retention for at least 3 months after receiving funding. It is expected that about 1,500 businesses will benefit from the support.

“Emergency Funding for Urban Manufacturing” shall be used only for business expenses, such as planning and manufacturing pilot products and marketing, in order to revitalize the industry. It is not allowed to be used for payroll, lease or operating expenses, and beneficiaries of “Stimulus Checks for the Self-Employed” are not eligible to apply for a duplicate benefit.

The scale of support will be decided according to the proportion of each type of business among the four manufacturing industries. The SMG will receive applications and provide funding in the following order: ① apparel & sewing and handmade shoes; ② printing; ③ machinery & metal.

A total of KRW 11 billion will be invested first into businesses in the “apparel & sewing” and “handmade shoes” categories as they employ the largest number of employees among urban manufacturing industries. The applications will be accepted for 15 days from Fri, Jun 5 to Fri, Jun. 19.

Funding for each business will be decided according to its scale. Up to KRW 30 million will be provided under the condition of retaining their currently employed staff for the next three months.

Eligible beneficiaries are apparel manufacturing businesses registered in Seoul, categorized either as a small business or small enterprise, and must have been in operation in the industry since prior to Jan. 1, 2019.

Following the apparel and handmade shoes industries, the SMG will make an announcement in May for businesses in the machinery & metal as well as printing industries about how to apply.

“Emergency Funding for Urban Manufacturing” is the sixth special measure of the SMG for the stabilization of citizens’ livelihood following the nation’s first COVID-19 support “Disaster Emergency Living Expenses,” the “10-day Commitment” for public welfare and innovative finance, the cooperation with the central government’s “Emergency Disaster Relief Funds,” the nation’s first-of-its-kind “Stimulus Checks for the Self-Employed,” and the expanded support of the “Seoul-type Employment Retention Funding” for businesses with less than 50 employees.

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