Are you considering an IT upgrade in Hong Kong? Is your company adopting the idea of remote working or service?
Under the Anti-Epidemic Fund, the Innovation and Technology Commission has launched the Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme (“the Programme”) to provide funding support through fast-track processing for enterprises to adopt IT solutions for developing distance business.
For each IT solution and the relevant training expenses for the employees, the funding ceiling is HK$100,000 (with funding for the relevant training expenses capped at 10% 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 6 months.
The Programme covers 12 categories of IT solutions for distance business:
- Online business
- Online order taking and delivery, and smart self-service systems
- Online customer services and engagement
- Digital customer experience enhancement
- Digital payment / mobile point of sale
- Online / cloud-based financial management systems
- Online / cloud-based human resources management systems
- Remote document management, cloud storage and remote access services
- Virtual meeting and conferencing tools
- Virtual team management and communications
- Cybersecurity solutions
- Other online / custom-built / cloud-based business support systems
The Programme provides an IT Service Providers Reference List (“Reference List”) to offer relevant market information for enterprises’ reference. Service Providers are welcome to apply and enroll to the Reference List. Enterprises interested in upgrading their IT infrastructure should apply for the IT funding by referring to the Reference List.
To increase your success rate, here are some tips we would like to share with you:
- Enterprises are required to undertake that the relevant project (with maximum 3 IT solutions) would be completed within six months;
- Expected project benefits (maximum 800 words) need to be explained;
- Every procurement in relation to the project would require two fee quotes from IT service providers;
- An external auditor should be engaged for any project amounting to HK$30,000 or above; 2 fee quotes are needed (maximum amount to be claimed: HK$3,000);
- Probity and Non-Collusive Quotation Certificate need to be signed by each vendor and auditor providing fee quotes; and
- Only ONLINE application is accepted (that might take around 2 hours because it would take time to upload documents of different sizes and formats and probably of busy traffic).
Whilst the Government has started accepting applications on 18 May 2020, your swift action is important given that the total amount of funding is limited at HK$500 million.
In application for the Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme, CW can provide the following services:
- For IT companies
With the application for enrolment to the IT Service Providers Reference List including
- Gathering the supporting documents, and
- Preparing and submitting the application.
2. For other businesses interested in adopting IT solutions
With the D-Biz funding application including
- Reviewing the supporting documents, and
- Project audit, if required.
Written by Toby Wong, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA