D-Biz and Zegal, now is the time to sign up with the HK government’s full support
By AL Walker, Last updated: 2022-08-17 (originally published on 2020-05-25)
The Hong Kong government have upped their support for businesses, with their Employment Support Scheme. Under the Anti-Epidemic Fund, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) is fast-track processing support for those embracing the remote working conditions that are helping ease the spread of Covid-19. They launched the Distance Business Programme on 16 May 2020, complete with the trendy nickname ‘D-Biz’.
And D-Biz is more than just a buzzword, it translates into actual funds for purchasing cost-saving IT services that will help businesses in both continuing and increasing their working from home solutions.
Below we’ll outline the application requirements and funding amounts as well as how to apply. First, here’s the categories D-Biz covers:
The D-Biz funds cover 12 types of IT solutions:
Zegal fits under the funding for both:
Category 8: Remote document management, cloud storage and remote access services and,
Category 12:Other online / custom-built / cloud-based business support systems). Applicants can choose to implement a maximum of 3 of the different IT solutions per business.
Here’s the full list:
|2.||Online order taking and delivery, and smart self-service systems
|3.||Online customer services and engagement
|4.||Digital customer experience enhancement
For the company to improve customer service experience and engagement with use of various technologies, including but not limited to the following:
|5.||Digital payment / mobile point of sale
|6.||Online / cloud-based financial management systems
Adopt computerised system to manage the financial related processes of the company, including but not limited to:
|7.||Online / cloud-based human resources management systems
Adopt computerised system to manage the human resources related processes of the company, including but not limited to:
|8.||Remote document management, cloud storage and remote access services
|9.||Virtual meeting and conference tools
Adopt tools to allow groups of people to collaborate or meet virtually through the Internet with the following functions but not limited to:
|10.||Virtual team management and communications
Adopt tools to allow groups of people to collaborate or communicate virtually through the Internet with the following functions but not limited to:
|12.||Other online / custom-built / cloud-based business support systems
D-Biz Application Requirements
All private enterprises with ongoing business commenced before 1 January 2020, and possessing a valid Business Registration Certificate, are eligible and only one application per entity*.
Applications are assessed based on individual merits on a case-by-case basis. The assessment criteria includes:
- Relevance of the proposed project to the applicant’s business – the project should enable enterprises to continue their business and services during the epidemic;
- Reasonableness of the budget – assessment with reference to market prices of the technologies in question as known to the Committee or the Secretariat will be made. Individual items of expenditure must also be essential and directly related to the implementation of the project;
- Reasonableness of the implementation details – consideration may include whether concrete project deliverables and outcomes have been set. The implementation details should also be realistic taking into account factors such as the complexity of the IT solution and the project duration; and
- Capability of Service Provider(s) – consideration will be made to the technical capability of the Service Provider(s). Each Service Provider will be considered on a case-by-case basis having regard to the Service Provider’s technical capabilities and experience relating to the IT solution categories as mentioned in the Guidance Notes for IT Service Providers;
- Adverse record of Service Provider(s) as known to the Committee and the Secretariat if available.
If a project is judged worthy of support in principle, the level of funding may be adjusted with reference to the project cost approved by the Committee.
Application is open until 6pm, 31 October 2020.
D-Biz Funding Amounts
The maximum for each IT solution, including the relevant training expenses for staff, is HK$100,000 (with funding for the relevant training expenses capped at 10 per cent of the IT solution cost).
Each enterprise may receive total funding of up to HK$300,000 to undertake a project to be completed within six months.
An enterprise will be disbursed a payment of 30% of the funding amount after the application has been approved. Upon completion of the project and after the supporting documents are accepted, the remaining funding amount will be disbursed to the enterprise.
IT solution(s) must only be implemented after approval is granted.
Here is the link to apply, and the subsequent link you’ll need to sign up for Zegal.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.